Apprentice Finalists

This year the person Lord Sugar is looking for has a different profile from other years. He’s looking for someone to go into business with him, and promises to put up capital of £250,000. So the winner should be someone entrepreneurial, someone who is ready to step up and run their own business. Tonight is the final – where the finalists will present their business plans for evaluation, I’m very curious to see what the contestants come up with. The successful applicant should have a combination of a great idea, and a great plan to execute it.

But even without knowing their great ideas or the plans, after seeing them work through so many challenges, we already know quite a lot about the finalists.

Here’s an overview of the finalists.

Susan Ma (bio)
Hire
  • has own company
  • has sold and upsold, notably that weird spider thing to a phone shop in Paris
  • has business instinct, for example saw that the furniture was worth something in the rubbish task, if her advice had been followed they may have won the task
Fire
  • often incomprehensible
  • famous for asking dopey questions such as “do the French love their children?”
LAS will love
  • has worked market stalls
  • can sell
Hellen Milligan (bio)
Hire
  • incredible organisational ability
  • track record of being on the winning team 10 times out of 11 tasks
  • record-breaking sales (800,000 units in the biscuit task, €214,000 of car seats on the Paris trip)
Fire
  • no previous entrepreneurial activity
  • not remarkably creative
  • sometimes the organisational ability turns into control freak – in last week’s task she was project manager but as there were only two of them it wasn’t really necessary to have a PM. She started out with a bad role assignment, but Tom talked her round.
LAS will love
  • the sales
Jim Eastwood (bi0)
Hire
  • has come to the rescue in a couple of projects (not always enough to secure a win) earning him the sobriquet “Jedi Jim”
  • can sell
  • some business instinct, understood the market task was about re-investment but could not convince the project manager
Fire
  • extreme manipulation techniques
  • he’s been project manager twice and lost both times (once for the insulting “Hip Replacement” magazine when he refused to make a deal, and again last week, when the chef had to tell him to come and organise the kitchen)
LAS will love
  • ? (sorry, I have no idea why he wasn’t out weeks ago)
Tom Pellereau (bio)
Hire
  • is an inventor who has managed to turn his inventions into commercial products
  • proven creativity
  • good analytical skills, on the rubbish task he was working out margins with the recycling payments to figure out what they should target
Fire
  • abysmal track record, I think he’s lost as often as Helen has won
  • sees business problems too late
LAS will love
  • creativity, Tom could be a serial inventor worth investing in
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