Baroness Karren Brady, star of BBC Lifestyle’s new series Give it a Year, shares her top tips

South Africans are entrepreneurs by nature and with more than half* of local entrepreneurs being youth, it seems many younger South African’s are searching for ways to own their future by starting a business.


Experts often predict that the continuity of a new business venture can be determined within the first 365 days of existence. Give it a Year, fronted by one of the UK’s leading business women, Baroness Karren Brady, is an insightful new series on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174), which airs from Tuesday 20 November at 20:00. The series aims to inspire and empower viewers by sharing a first-hand look into the lives of intrepid entrepreneurs as they try to make their business a success within its first year. The show offers aspirational entrepreneurs tips on what it takes to make it big and thrive in the business world.


Rated among the 50 most inspirational people in the world, Karren Brady – who was also featured on BBC’s The Apprentice – has, through hard work and determination persevered in a male dominated industry. As a business leader and working mom she has also made a name for herself as the first woman of football in the UK by becoming the CEO of West Ham United Football Club, and is an inspiration to anyone who wants to challenge the odds and turn dreams into reality.


If you’re ambitious and are looking at starting your own business venture, Karren Brady highlights the key characteristics needed to help you succeed in the business world.


  • Be ambitious – no one ever started anything without ambition. You must keep on track and ambition is that important motivating ingredient. It’s about wanting the best for yourself.


  • Have determination – before success many people experience either temporary setbacks or total failure. What do you do? How do you react? In life, one of the most powerful things is to pick yourself up and put one foot in front of the other and simply keep going.


  • Have a good attitude – If you accept a challenge – whatever it is – ask yourself ‘what is the worst thing that can happen?’  In life, if you can protect your downside and truly confront the worst-case scenario, it improves your attitude to risk.


  • Be positive – It takes an enormous amount of energy, passion and hard work to run a business.  Sometimes you will need to work all day every day on the business, to achieve success.  True success is due in part to hanging on when everyone else has let go!


  • Have direction – The sooner you work out your own core values, the sooner you are on the course to where you want to go.


  • Good leadership – this should never be confused with management. While management is the setting of a series of tasks and managing people to deliver those tasks, leadership is about vision. Often only you can see the vision.  Leadership is empowering people to see and deliver that vision. A real leader faces the music even if they don’t like the tune.  It doesn’t matter what you do when you know what to do, it’s how you behave when you don’t know what to do. 


For more great tips and inspiration, be sure to tune into Give it a Year on BBC Lifestyle (DStv Channel 174) from 20 November at 20:00.


To stay up to date oncurrent and upcoming shows on BBC Lifestyle visit or follow @BBCLifestyleSA on Facebookand Instagram.

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