By Daniel Hunter

CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, have announced that James Caan is to host a second series of The Business Class, which will begin airing today (7th October).

The programme returns with a focus to help small and medium-sized businesses grow and prosper. Each 30-minute episode will see Caan joined by experts from a cross-section of industries, to give strategic business advice to six of the UK’s most innovative SMEs and help them improve their business model and boost profits.

The seven-part series will air every other week from today at 10.00pm (UK). The series is sponsored by Bizcrowd, the free online community for UK businesses, powered by RBS and NatWest.

The six featured UK companies face different challenges in their business cycle and are taken from a variety of sectors including technology, financial services, manufacturing, retail and professional services.

With Caan’s impressive track record of creating and managing successful companies, he uses his first-hand experience to discuss the challenges faced by SMEs and to offer advice. In each episode, a guest entrepreneur will join James to provide their own candid insight and tips for growth.

“With some fresh signs of economic recovery in the UK, there is no better time to grow a small business,” says James Caan. “This new series will take a look at some dynamic companies that have the scope to grow and compete nationally and internationally. Each has its own unique set of challenges and with an industry expert, I hope to give each SME some valuable advice.”

John Casey, Vice President, News & Programming, CNBC International said, “Building on the success of our first series, The Business Class will help a new set of SMEs understand what is holding their business back and provide them with some practical advice to help them achieve success. If you’re running an SME or thinking about starting a new business, then it’s time to join The Business Class.”

The first episode features London based Blippar, a revolutionary mobile platform which turns physical imagery, print or products into instantaneous, interactive digital experiences.

Launched in August 2011 by Ambarish Mitra and Omar Tayeb, Bilppar faces two key challenges: How do they allocate their marketing resources and how can they educate consumers and change behaviour to a scale where to ‘Blipp’ becomes an everyday word. Joining James Caan on the first episode will be Lisa Thomas, CEO, M&C Saatchi Group.

The other companies featured in future episodes include:

- Crowdcube which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to take control of funding raising
- Pai Skincare is a London company with a premium organic range of sensitive skin care products
- Morphsuits distributes branded all-in-one spandex costumes
- Notgoingtouni is an online guide that offers advice on apprenticeships, distance learning, foundation degrees, gap years and voluntary work as well as ways to get a sponsored degree.

The Business Class debuts today (7th October) at 10.00pm and will repeat at the weekend at 9.30pm (UK time). CNBC can be seen on Sky channel 505, Virgin 613 and Freesat 210.

Visit the series’ dedicated website at or follow the show on Twitter at #CNBCBizClass. Use the hashtag to ask James Caan a question to help your SME.

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