While many businesses have struggled to survive the economic doldrums of recent years, some have bucked the trend and flourished. In this new series, we delve into four

fascinating business worlds to discover the secrets of their success and reveal some very modern ways of making money.

Our preview videos are intended for broadcasters looking to licence content from the Open University.

Hot Shots: The Coffee Shop Conquerors
Like so many other countries, Britain is no longer a nation of tea drinkers. We’ve switched our allegiances.

Coffee is the new tea, cafés are the new pubs and the coffee bar brands are colonising high streets up and down the land.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee…  

The Real Storage Wars: Inside The Self-Storage Empires
This is the tale of hoarders and the entrepreneurs who love them. It’s the story of the relentless rise of the quintessential modern business: self storage.

Over the last 15 years, in Britain, the storage business has risen from next to nothing to sales of £380m a year. In the US, the self-storage industry has a bigger turnover than the movie business. Mainland Europe is surely next!

The Real Storage Wars will feature an engaging business story, a dissection of an ingenious money-making model and a fascinating insight into who stores their stuff and why.

Amazon’s Retail Revolution: How We Learned To Love Online Shopping
This film follows the fortunes of the ultimate online success story - a business born in a garage almost twenty years ago and eventually grew into a global giant that serves 137 million customers a week.

By 2012, Amazon had annual takings of $61 billion. Along the way, the Amazon phenomenon has inspired, shaped – and sometimes squashed – the rest of the retail sector, while evolutionizing our attitudes to online business and transforming the way we shop.

Building For Britain: The Inside Story Of The House Builders
After the biggest recession in living memory, business is booming again for Britain’s house builders. Profits are up and sales are surging, as companies like Barratt and Wimpey, as well as hundreds of smaller firms, compete to lure customers into the biggest purchase of their lives.

In this programme, we gain unique access to some of the biggest names in house building, and the business tycoons behind them: men like Tony Pidgley, the Barnado’s boy raised by gypsies whose company Berkeley Homes builds homes for the super-rich; and former Royal pageboy Duncan Davidson, who created a fortune from building houses for the cost​ conscious masses.

Go to OpenLearn, The Open University's home of free learning, to find out more about "Escape from the Boardroom" 


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