What type of companies can apply?

  • Must have been in operation for at least three to five years, or more
  • Gross revenue of at least $500,000 per year
  • More than five employees
  • Privately held business, family businesses, partnerships, limited partnerships
  • Must be willing to commit to being filmed on camera for up to a two-week period
  • A business registered in Canada
  • Fluent English speakers
To apply, download an application (PDF or DOC) and send the completed form to bigdecision@cbc.ca

Here's what some of our past participants have to say about their experiences on the show:

"Participating in the Big Decision was a roller coaster ride of the most thrilling sort! Opening your company up to the peering eyes of an experienced entrepreneur is like having your grandmother inspect your kitchen cupboards. However, if you can open yourself to the journey, the benefits of the insights into your business and the opportunities presented are large and worthwhile. The whole experience was a great team building exercise for our entire staff and kept us entertained for months. In addition, it helped expose our brand to many Canadians who may not have known of us otherwise. It feels risky and most of the time it's when we step outside of our comfort zones that the greatest things happen." Jennifer Williams, CEO, Camino.

"Business is up 100 per cent again this month. People keep coming by to see us because of The Big Decision. The show gave us GREAT exposure and we're so happy to have participated." Karen King, co-owner, The Ice House.

"At first, the thought of being involved in The Big Decision seemed like a risk. What would our suppliers, customers, employees and family think? How would they react to the news that the struggles with our business were deeper than what everyone assumed? As entrepreneurs, risk is something we can all relate to, and when you truly believe in what you do, risk is not something to stop you. What we found along the journey was support. Everyone could relate and was thankful to us for being brave enough to publicly admit our situation and take this step to ask for help. The whole experience brought our crew closer together. It felt like we all were being given an opportunity to change the course of our business together. Our entire workforce was totally on board with taking part in a reality TV show, and our small close-knit community has enjoyed the ride with us. The CBC crew is amazing, they really made everyone comfortable with the process and were a great help every step of the way. Of course, being given the chance to work with a Dragon is the ultimate reward. To have our brand showcased across Canada on TV and in the press surrounding the show was and is incredible advertising, reaching an audience that may not have otherwise ever known about us. If you are open up to change, then you will not regret getting involved in The Big Decision. You will find that your situation is not unique, help is out there, if you are ready to ask for it." Carol Dirom, co-owner, Hardy Buoys.

"Being on The BIG Decision was quite the experience. The CBC crew was very professional and the producers portrayed our company in a completely true and tasteful manner. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of a TV show and to meet an investor like Jim." Dave Jaques, Westland Steel.

"After 18 years in business, Radix Controls was ready to take the first giant step along the path to transformation with the right investment partner. We found what we were looking for with The Big Decision - an opportunity to ally with a knowledgeable investor who is committed to our company's success, to grow & develop as a company and to showcase the confidence, innovation and personality that are our hallmarks. Through the filming, the technical & production teams were professional, experienced & great to work with. Jim's challenges to us were perceptive and helpful, moving us along that transformation path as we emerged from filming with a new brand, a new name, a new perspective - and a potential new partner. " Shelley Fellows, Radix Controls.

"We had an Exciting and WILD ride during the filming of The Big Decision. The film crew that came to our base camp was extraordinarily professional, friendly and easy to work with. Arlene was great to get to know and I felt she was genuinely interested in the future success of both myself and my business. As it turns out, Arlene chose not to invest in Esprit. Despite her decision not going in our favour the overall experience was still very positive for us. We put our best foot forward and made sure our business was in top shape for the filming of the show. We took Arlene's challenges and turned them into opportunities... succeeding and over-achieving at each of them. All of them were positives for our business. We received nationwide publicity for our little company that we could never afford to buy. We received a nationwide endorsement from Arlene saying that "we can do it without her". We have rallied ourselves to success without her investment. The show definitely took us on an amazing journey physically, mentally and emotionally. It had its challenges... and with great challenges comes great reward. We are looking forward to reaping the benefit of our nationwide exposure using our Big Decision experience to take us to the next level. See you on the river!"" Jim Coffey, Esprit.

"When I first learned about the opportunity to apply for The Big Decision, I figured why not? We were all very nervous at the beginning of the shooting process. But the crew was great to work with, very professional. We are just your average working folks; we're not used to speaking in front of a camera, so the crew really helped out in that aspect. We were interested in acquiring marketing expertise and making contacts in the tourism industry. We were also looking for help in the rebranding of my company to better reflect who and what we are. We were very happy with the results we received in both those areas. The contacts that we met in Vancouver and the marketing help we received from Lynk Marketing far exceeded our expectations. All in all it was a very good experience for Inland Air. We are doing our best to keep our foot on the accelerator and take advantage of the exposure we received." Bruce MacDonald - Inland Air

"Being able to participate in The Big Decision was a good experience for our company. It really exposed key areas which we could not see fully without having the outside expert opinion from Arlene, which has allowed us to communicate and see eye to eye as a family / company. Overall it was a great experience, as we are farther ahead now than were before the show." Brett Viberg - Viberg Boots

"When we were first approached to become participants on 'The Big Decision' we thought a lot about 'what will this do for our business and can we do it?' As we progressed into the challenges, we found that our confidence was either going to pick up or we were going to crash. I am glad to say that it was definitely an upward process. The producers were always positive and encouraging. When reflecting and watching the episode, it became very clear that every challenge considered hurdles which we had been facing prior to this experience that came back into play. Doing the show revitalized our personal goals to show people in our best form what we do and why we want to do this business. I would encourage anyone who is debating about doing this and putting the time, work and experience into it, to take the chance and see if you can make a difference in your business. It will allow you to grow personally. You might just make that difference in not only your life, but that of others, to connect personally with you and your business." Brenda Jackson - New Future Farms