As a new reality TV Series, Bears’ Lair will appeal to viewers from various demographics. because we will build on the winning combination of the popular genre of
‘Edu-tainment’ TV that provides both:
Education + Entertainment.
Many viewers across multiple demographics will tune in to learn about business tips, Indigenous entrepreneurs and the communities they represent.
Others may just want to be entertained by interactions between our Indigenous Judges (‘The Bears’) , our episode Guest Judges and Contestants.
We know Indigenous community-based businesses often embrace cooperation and collaboration.
By focusing on honouring Indigenous values such as respect for diversity, we will create a healthy competition.
We will promote what we call the Spirit of Co-opetition.
With the goal to create a ‘Reality TV show with REAL impact,’ we made these 5 decisions…
Indigenous business owners retain full ownership and control; they don’t need to give up ANY ownership or portion of their business to an outsider – the Bears (our Indigenous core Judges) and Guest Judges on episodes are simply advising, discussing then selecting winners. They do not invest their own money and are not looking to take over any portion of anyone’s business for their own gain…they’re just awarding prize money to deserving contestants that the Bears’ Lair team has raised from Sponsors who are ReconciliACTION champions!
The Bears will consider the entrepreneurs’ social purpose, focus on sustainability and range of positive benefits they provide – how people, the planet and communities are respected and impacted by the business and its owner’s activities.
We call this balancing the 4 P’s of a Quadruple Bottom Line: consideration of People, the Planet, Profit and Purpose.
When individuals co-operate and collaborate by sharing ideas, knowledge and resources, everyone benefits from the results. To us, co-operation and collaboration are the keys to creating a space for healthy competition.
6 of the 18 Contestants will win prize money on our TV series, yet everyone wins when we work together to:
We know that a wealth of knowledge will be shared with – and between – our Contestants AND the larger APTN viewers and online #BearsLairCommunity.
18 Indigenous entrepreneurs will compete on Season 1 of Bears’ Lair TV for their chance to win $160,000 from our panel of Judges… ‘The Bears’ and episode Guest Judges.
Our Judges and Contestants will share a wealth of knowledge with the Contestants and the larger #BearsLairCommunity (APTN viewers and our online followers) by creating supportive, co-operative, collaborative spaces for a healthy competition.
In following the Indigenous values of shared prosperity and wealth redistribution, after the Season Finale airs on APTN this fall, the #BearsLairCommunity will determine which runner-ups win $20,000 in prize money! Through online voting, 4 runner-ups will be chosen to win $5,000 each to help move their business forward this year.
Watch for ways to join the #BearsLairCommunity to share your insights about each episode and to be able to vote online to reward Indigenous entrepreneurs with prize money!
In August of 2021, Bears’Lair founder Geena Jackson was notified that APTN had approved her initial concept for a new game show about Indigenous entrepreneurs. Geena contacted a trusted ally for Indigenous business development, Kristin Kozuback of Spiritlink Communications, to help turn her idea for a new, Indigenous-focused TV series into a platform that elevates and showcases Indigenous entrepreneurs across the nation.
We drew from over 40 years of combined experience as entrepreneurs and thousands of hours of insights gathered from our respective coaching, training and empowering emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, established companies, Economic Development teams, lenders and a wide range of service providers working to support Indigenous business development.
We know there is ‘edu-tainment’ appeal in showcasing Indigenous businesses & values
The Bears’ Lair crew knows that reality TV business competitions appeal to a wide audience demographic as part of trusted hybrid genre of ‘edu-tainment TV – a combination of education + entertainment.
By elevating Indigenous business profiles and values,, we can showcase the benefits of balancing people, planet and profit with purpose.
The idea of a celebrating purely capitalist values doesn’t align well with many Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities.
Current business competitions typically focus on promoting a capitalist economic framework. That model is literally foreign – if not frustrating – to many Indigenous people who put community health and prosperity FIRST.
A shark-like colonizer / Western / capitalist approach is often inconsistent with Indigenous values and economic systems. Our Contestants do not have to deal with:
We will showcase and celebrate Indigenous values such as cooperation and community prosperity woven into many businesses….yet we’ll still maintain a competitive spirit.
We start by promoting the ‘Spirt of Co-opetition’
This is the idea that every entrepreneur, and therefore every community, will do better if we all cooperate and collaborate to elevate each other through a healthy competition.
Together, we can raise the profile of Indigenous businesses. Every time an Indigenous business succeeds, the whole region often benefits from stronger and more efficient supply chain networks, reduced transportation costs for goods and services, a lower environmental impact, local jobs and more local spending.
To us, Indigenous business models are the foundation for sustainability and shared prosperity.
To us, this is also a key step in paving a shared path towards economic Reconciliation and developing a more diversified economy…which better positions our nation to compete against other countries.
We came up with five ‘FUNdamental Indigenous Twists’ (see the graphic above) for our show and business model that we think will best honour, celebrate and Feed the Spirit of Indigenous Business. The key aspects of our twists include: