Theo’s Adventure Capitalists

3 x 1 hour current affairs series starting Tuesday 4 May, 8:00pm, BBC2

Entrepreneur and Chairman of Ryman’s Theo Paphitis, best known for his role in Dragon’s Den, presents a new three-part series, produced in partnership with The Open University, examining the risks and rewards for British companies looking to expand in three of the world's most dynamic and emerging markets – India, Vietnam and Brazil.

These markets are growing despite the global recession. If Britain is to remain a major player in world trade, it is essential to establish firm business interests now.

In each programme, Theo follows the progress of three British companies considering expanding in these high-growth markets. He’ll observe their experience of international trade to find out what goes right and what goes wrong. He’ll be asking those difficult business questions that the companies might shy away of asking themselves. His insight and commentary on succeeding in tough markets makes this programme a must for anyone in business, from budding entrepreneurs to successful businessmen.

Theo works alongside the companies, OU academics and other experts within the countries and the films include feedback from the companies and additional comments from Theo a couple of months later. With his wide experience of international business, as an entrepreneur and with his background in La Senza and now as Chairman of Ryman the Stationer, Theo was the perfect choice to present the series.

Some of the companies are household names, while others are small but ambitious businesses across a variety of sectors. All must learn valuable lessons about distribution, marketing, PR, delivery of products and services to scale and most importantly working cross cultures and understanding consumer buying behaviours in each country.

Each programme includes feedback from the companies and comments from Theo two – three months after their week in the countries when they’ve looked back on their experience.

The Open University offers a range of online resources covering aspects of entrepreneurial activity and it also offers a range of links to important sources of information for would-be entrepreneurs, all of which can be found on and


Editor’s Notes

Theo’s Adventure Capitalist is a Tiger Aspect production made for the BBC in partnership with The Open University. Executive Producer for is Paul Sommers, Tiger Aspect. Series Producer for is David Jeffcock, Tiger Aspect. Producer/Director is Claire Lasco, Tiger Aspect and the Production Manager is Susan Lee, Tiger Aspect. BBC Multiplatform Commissioning Executive is Emma De’Ath. The Broadcast Learning Executive for The Open University is Anne Stevens

The Open University Academic Consultants are Professor Colin Gray, Dr Andrew Lindridge, Dr Devendra Kodwani Dr Fiona Elis-Chadwick and Dr Luciano Batista.

The Open University and BBC have been in partnership for more than 40 years, providing educational programming to a mass audience. In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak time programmes with a broad appeal to encourage wider participation in learning.

Related Courses and programmes from The Open University:-
B322 Investigating entrepreneurial opportunities
B700 Managing performance and change
B713 Fundamentals of senior management
B820 Strategy
B122 Retail Marketing and Management
Global MBA Programme
GB010 Applying strategic thinking
GB036 Improving your negotiation skills
GB061 Working cross cultures
B854 Issues in international finance and investment
B823 Creativity, innovation and change
TU870 Capacities for managing development
TU872 Development: context and practice
TU883 Business operations: delivering value
TU872 Institutional development: conflicts, values and meaning

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