CNBC to air new special “The Profit in Cuba” episode tonight

Posted: 15-Nov-16 11:32

CNBC’s hit TV series “The Profit” travels to Cuba for its latest episode, where American entrepreneur and businessman Marcus Lemonis gives a rare insider’s view into Cuba’s changing and evolving private economy sector. With his best endeavours to help small Cuban private businesses, Marcus travels the island to get to know a wide variety of entrepreneurs, from bakers to restauranteurs, artisans and clothes designers, in a country that faces some of the biggest trading limitations in the world.

CNBC to air new special “The Profit in Cuba” episode tonight

A rare and very special episode airing tonight on CNBC will show the world an unseen side to Cuba’s newly emerging businessmen, operating within the scope of the island’s recently revived private sector.

As part of the channel’s hit primetime series, “The Profit in Cuba”, its latest episode will see successful businessman, investor, philanthropist and TV personality, Marcus Lemonis embarking on a unique journey through Cuba, inspecting some of the country’s small private businesses, talking to their owners and finding out about their daily struggles, their visions, sacrifices and triumphs.

While “The Profit” normally involves Marcus Lemonis putting his own money on the line to save struggling American businesses, the Cuba episode is a little bit different, not least of all because under the current embargo law still in place, Americans are not freely allowed to invest in Cuba.

Despite Obama’s efforts to relax embargo rules (and succeeding in amending some aspects of it, like allowing Americans to travel to the island under 12 approved categories and re-establishing commercial flights) as well as his ongoing call for ending the blockade, it rests on Republican hands to finally give in and put an end to this absurd, outdated piece of legislation. After Trump’s recent win and the Republican’s overwhelming majority in the White House, this might prove trickier than ever though. Let’s wait and see, Mr Trump, in true character, might surprise us for the better. After all he’s a businessman, a dealmaker.

But getting back to our headline story; while Mr Lemonis will indeed be seen offering advice to all the Cuban entrepreneurs he meets along the way in this latest episode, money and investment will not be a part of it, as this show is more about him learning about Cuba’s peculiarities in the private sector, especially when it comes to legislation (and its limitations), trading obstacles and lack of supplies.

Travelling to the island at a time of historic, faster-paced change, Marcus discovers Cuba’s unique breed of business owners, determined to succeed and sometimes forced into grey areas of the law to do so.

"The Cuban people have an amazing spirit. Seeing how small business functions in a communist country gave me an understanding of what's really happening in Cuba. Their tenacity and resolve despite staggering obstacles is the heart and soul of what makes that country work."

From restaurants to small bakeries and private homes, Lemonis is astonished at encountering some of Cuba’s successful pioneers, venturing in an area where they had no real experience and managing to make it work for them despite the sometimes shocking limitations. In one case, he cites a former state-employed dentist who has partnered up with her brother to open a bakery. While the venture proves successful he’s amazed to discover how they often lack access to a basic ingredient like chocolate.

From scarce supplies to poor internet service and the overpowering shadow of the ever-present U.S. embargo, being a solo businessman in Cuba means jumping through hoops and obstacles every step of the way. With this latest episode airing tonight in America, Marcus enlightens the world on Cubans’ remarkable resilience and unshakable attitude to overcoming adversity and make things work.


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