A BUSINESSWOMAN is helping to make a hit Amazon series billed as a more kind-hearted version of The Apprentice.

San Sunner from Hassocks, owner of the social media company Rec-Social, is an associate producer on a new Amazon Prime series called The Social Movement.

She said the show is like a kinder version of the BBC1 programme The Apprentice, with charities and business people working together to support good causes.

It challenges CEOs to work with charities and change the world in four days through philanthropy.

San said: “The show is going to see entrepreneurs, CEOs, and people with business backgrounds trying to tackle big social issues ranging from empowering women to cyber bullying.

“We have some very high profile participants, like James Caan from Dragon’s Den. There are good names and there’s a good calibre of people.

“It’s like a kinder, edgier version of The Apprentice. It’s more like the US version Shark Tank. You learn a lot more about the people on the show – why they’re there and what’s in their hearts. It’s a lot more emotive.”

But why does the show feature business owners at all? San said: “In general, charities aren’t business savvy. We bring that experience of competition and being under pressure, and the judges are there throughout, deciding who gets investment.

“Even if one of the charities doesn’t win, they still get the option to be helped by businesspeople – our involvement doesn’t end after four days.

And are a bunch of business people really the best qualified to solve pressing social problems?

“I think so”, San said. “We can look at these problems from a different angle. It’s not like we can solve them in a week. But you’d be surprised. Business isn’t all dog eat dog. There are a lot of people working in the sector who have a lot of empathy – as well as the resilience and grit it takes.

“Just because we’re not fluffy, that doesn’t mean we’re bad people.”

And is philanthropy really the answer? “Only when it’s done properly”, San said. “You can’t just throw money at a problem and expect it to go away.

“The charity sector has a reputation as being a bit useless business-wise – and they’ve earned that. This show sees us meeting in the middle to work on social problems together.”

And why are wealthy businesspeople like James Caan getting involved in good causes? Is is guilt?

“With everyone on the show, something’s snapped at some point in their careers and made them look again at their lives. It’s not guilt – it’s realising what motivates you.

“You stop thinking about yourself and what start thinking – what can I do.”

San said her experience mirrored that of the show’s contestants.

She said: “I come from a recruitment background. I left the industry for a while, and when I returned, it had become a lot more competitive. I didn’t have the heart to do it again.

“I did a digital mum’s course, which allowed me to work from home on getting the recruitment industry to engage in social channels.

“That led me to working for IBM, Accenture, and all of a sudden it snowballed and I’ve found myself on the telly.

“Now I’m flying to Montreal to film the next season. I’m thrilled. I can’t tell you how amazing a journey I’ve had.”