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Last Update: Friday August 18, 2017

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Why public television?

People ask, "Why public television?" The answer is easy:

(1) A "How-to" Series About the American Dream.
This series was envisioned as a "how-to"series (much like the cooking shows, gardening shows, or This Old House) but the audience for this one would first be the 27 million small business owners (USA), their employees and their customers.  That would include virtually everybody in the USA. The other audience is all those who aspire to be a business owner. 

The show opens with the words, "Everybody has an idea for a business."   The focus of each episode is to answer the question, "How does a person start and grow the business of their dreams?"  More...

(2) Free to everyone.  The broadcasts of PBS-member stations are free to most Americans. They reach 99% of the marketplace.  The PEG stations overlap and reach 100% of the marketplace. The Voice of America is free to the people outside of North America. 

(3)  No direct funding from tax-dollars. This show has never received, nor does it seek, public funds to produce the series. IBM was the founding sponsor in 1994. Other national sponsors include AT&T, Business Week, Forbes, Microsoft, Thomson Learning, the United States Postal Service and regional sponsors such as Verizon. Throughout the years, Dun & Bradstreet, MassMutual, Travelers-Citicorp and others have been national sponsors and many local businesses have been local sponsors.

A team of small businesses make each episode of the show, and then they give it to PBS-member stations.

(4) Change the world.  Why not?  Why not inspire everyone to be their best self?  Why not search the nation for people who are ethical, generous, creative,  and courageous, and ask, "How do you do it?"  Why not show the world the best of the USA and not the worst?  Where the general media focuses on the underbelly of business, why not have a show that focuses on the best among us as selected from each local community?   More...

There are three facts everyone should know:  (1) Nobody can pay or has ever paid to be on this television show.  (2) PBS and the affiliate stations do not pay this show to receive and rebroadcast the show.  (3) This show receives no public funds to create these episodes of the show.   

Please note:  The views and opinions of the people in each episode do not necessarily represent the views of the school, the sponsors, or the public television stations. 

More discussion about this topic:  "Why public television?"

The 1994-2005 listings of businesses profiled.  

About Daily Video Tips   Hattie's Video   Hattie OnStage

Bruce Camber and Hattie Bryant, founders Overview: Small Business School, a weekly, half-hour television show, began in 1994 and has been airing somewhere around the world ever since. The show first began on PBS-member stations in the United States. In 1995 it also began airing  through the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) Voice of America TV (VOA-TV).  Cable stations throughout Canada, Latin America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, New Zealand, Poland, China (and many more) have aired the show. After 50+ seasons, the show completed a long cycle on PBS-TV stations in August 2012. 

There is a future for the show where Hattie and Bruce are just advisers and advocates.

Small Business School is also this website where the key ideas of many of the episodes of the show come alive within an executive summary, transcript, case study guide and streaming video. This web site and these pictures were launched in December 1994.

In the first years of the production, PBS had a special feed to every college and university in the USA. For that feed, a case study guide was prepared for each episode. Every inch of footage had a key point.  Today, there are well over 1000 key points with video, transcript and analysis from over 200 episodes of the show that have all aired on PBS stations throughout the USA.  These case studies are published in many of the most important business textbooks by Prentice Hall, Thomson Learning, Cengage and Pearson. Also, these videos and their key ideas became the foundation to open the New York Times' section of their website about small business.

The people: Small Business School involves many people. However, the story begins with two small business owners, Bruce Camber  and Hattie Bryant. They felt there was something missing from television. There was nothing about the men and women who are more likely to invent a new product, create a job and support their community than those big business folks who seek and get most of the media's attention.

They also believe there is something profoundly wrong with much of television. Too much programming capitalizes on and glamorizes exploitation; there is not enough about creativity and the processes of creating something of value.    More...

Here's what others have said about Small Business School:

"This is the most informative and inspiring show for the entrepreneur that I have ever seen!"

"I saw your show and was mesmerized. These people really do make their dreams come true."

Broadcasts of the show

The show has aired at some time in all 210 Designated Market Areas throughout  the USA. In January 2008, the broadcasts took a rest, the first break since September 1994. The hope is that the show will be reinvented, market-by-market, as a local show with a global presence. When there are as many as ten local shows, the show will come back on the air and it will have been re-birthed.  The founders will have handed the entire production and this website to a group of new producers, the television stations, the sponsors, and the small business community.  There is also a global component to this dream.

The New Show.   The best from each local show will then be broadcast nationally and globally.  The goal is to have all 178 PBS-affiliate stations doing a local broadcast.  When the PBS station is not interested, we will turn to their local PEG affiliates.  PEG stations are public television stations often affiliated with the local government's economic development commission, the local Chambers of Commerce, and the local university.