It was when news boss Jim Carroll pulled him aside to say, “We’re thinking about doing this and we’d love you to host it,” that Ricardo Goncalves was given a shot to front his own stand-alone programme for SBS.
Goncalves, who has been with SBS for 6 years is, by his own admission, “a finance nerd” hooked on Bloomberg, CNBC, SKY News Business channels.
New weekend programme Small Business Secrets will see him in his element, telling stories that combine finance with diverse Australians.
“It’s what I’ve always been doing since I left high school. So this was a really good fit and I think management identified this area was under-serviced in terms of telling good stories about successful businesses,” he says.
Holding a Bachelor of Commerce from University of Wollongong, Goncalves had his early start in news and finance as a video journalist on David Koch’s SKY News Business programme.
“Kochie was a mentor when I was younger, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of my mannerisms are from him!” he jokes.
“I still email him now and again for a bit of advice or chat. We tweet each other and are Facebook mates. I stay in touch with Ross Greenwood and I love his money show on 2GB.”
At SBS he is SBS Finance Editor and SBS World News presenter, with Small Business Secrets his newest role.
“In this day and age being a ‘presenter’ just doesn’t happen, especially in News. They’re looking for us to do more,” he explains.
“My role is to present the show but to do a few of the feature interviews. So it’s not just presenting links but getting involved and meeting the people about the kind of issues they have.
“Small business forms such a massive part of the economy. There are 4.5m people employed by small business and it provides $340B to the economy, which is increasing every year. So it’s an important sector to talk about.”
Unlike other ‘Business’ programmes that are little more than trumped-up branded content, Small Business Secrets will maintain its independence.
“We go and chase the stories we want, so nobody is dictating anything to us. So we’re looking for stories that meet SBS’ Charter. We want to tell stories that reflect the community. That doesn’t necessarily mean if it’s from an ethnic background that that’s all we will do,” he continues.
“It’s inclusion of diversity, with other cultures: Anglo cultures, ethnic cultures, Indigenous cultures. It’s about everyone.”
But it will also turn a spotlight onto stories about those in multicultural communities who are up against it, just to establish and operate a small business.
“If I’m not wrong I think about a third of all business owners are born overseas,” he says.
“There’s one person from an ethnic background who was really successful about 5 or 6 years ago but the business went belly-up.
“So this person was candid enough to tell us all the mistakes they made.
“So they are great lessons to tell.
“It really takes a lot of guts to start your own business.”
Small Business Secrets airs 5pm Sundays on SBS.