The candidates face the formidable interview process as four of Lord Sugar's trusted advisors scrutinise the business plans, before Lord Sugar selects his two finalists.
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I'm not here to make friends.
Lord Sugar is on the lookout for a brand-new business partner.
I need to see who's got a good business brain.
At stake, £250,000...
I feel so angry.
There's no winner here.
..and a 50-50 deal with a business heavyweight.
That's a massive, massive win.
It's an investment worth fighting for.
Hang on a minute. Let me finish.
-You've got to tell her!
-I said it to her there!
-No, you didn't!
12 testing weeks...
Thought that was a bit of a car crash, to be honest.
That was brutal.
..one life-changing opportunity.
You're fired. You're fired.
You are a loose cannon.
Previously on The Apprentice...
I want you to create your own gin.
I can honestly put my hands up and say I've tried a lot of gin.
..Grainne took a second shot as product manager.
I have to stop drinking this.
But the task went to her head.
And...I keep forgetting, I don't want...
I want it to be... But...
Trishna's bold colouring...
Orange, quite a dark-ish orange.
..meant they were hammered in their pitches.
-The colour of the liquid is somewhat different.
And team relations turned sour.
If you don't think what's going to happen is effective,
you've got to tell her!
-You've got to be able to direct the room.
-On Courtney's team...
-I feel like it's a bit lame.
..creativity dried up.
Choose your concept - which one?
Trouble was brewing...
-What name have you gone for?
I think you've made the wrong call.
The correct way of pronouncing it is "zhin".
..and he almost lost his bottle.
Er, erm... Where are we on this one?
In the boardroom,
Giin hit the spot...
Final five, final five!
..while Colony was confined to history.
The product has got so many faults with it.
For Grainne, a sobering experience.
Every time there's an opportunity for you to excel, you haven't.
But for Trishna, last orders.
Bad moods, having the hump -
that's not the calibre of person that I could work with.
She became the 12th casualty of the boardroom.
Now five remain to fight for the chance to become
Lord Sugar's business partner.
One week till Lord Sugar makes his final choice.
-Hello, good morning.
'Lord Sugar would like you to meet him tomorrow morning
'at 122 Leadenhall Street,
'and please bring your business plans with you.'
Cheers, thank you. Bye-bye.
So...tasks are over.
We're going to be doing interviews.
-This is serious now.
-One of us is going to be his business partner.
For the final five...
..a last chance to go over their business plans.
I think Lord Sugar is quite intrigued by me.
Despite losing eight tasks,
kids' clothing retailer Frances Bishop
still has her eye on the prize.
What I'm proud most of is that I've stuck to being myself.
And whether people like that or not,
I couldn't really give a monkey's arse,
because I'm here and they're probably gone now.
Grainne McCoy has 15 years' experience in the beauty industry.
I think everybody thought, "Oh, she's just a make-up artist."
But I'm a make-up artist who wants to think outside the box.
I want the agency, I want the recruitment side, the training,
and I need to really show them that I will work hard to create it.
It's business time.
Novelty gift designer Courtney Wood
set up his own business three years ago.
They're going to go through every fine detail,
but I entered this process cos I knew I could win it.
These interviews are just another hurdle,
one final step to actually showing Lord Sugar what I'm made of.
If you'd asked me week one or two if I'd be in the final five, no way.
But I'm here! And that's all that matters.
24-year-old cake manufacturer Alana Spencer...
I think it's really important that the interviewers
are able to try the cakes.
..has been running her business since the age of 17.
I've been doing it for a long time,
so there's no doubt in my mind this business will work.
I just hope none of them have got a nut allergy -
finish one of them off.
128 grand. Oh, that's a lot, isn't it?
Internet fashion entrepreneur Jessica Cunningham
was top salesperson in multiple tasks.
I've just been reading through my business plan,
and there's a few grammatical errors.
However, the numbers all seem to add up, so...
I've had businesses in the past.
I am a credible businesswoman.
I'm confident in my ability, and I know what I'm talking about.
I'm going to need a lot of deodorant.
I definitely think Claude's going to make me perspirate.
I am going to be cool, calm and collected today,
and I'm going to nail this.
They want to know every aspect of you. Every aspect.
What makes you tick, what makes you crumble.
The Leadenhall Building.
18,000 tonnes of steel in the heart of London's financial district.
-Good morning, Lord Sugar.
Well, as you know,
I've already invested over £1 million with previous winners,
and I'm about to invest another £250,000 with one of you.
Today is all about your business plans,
and you are going to present them to some of my trusted advisers.
And trust me when I tell you that
they will probe every inch of your plans, and your CVs.
And if there are any holes,
I guarantee you they will be asking questions.
And you'd better have some answers.
Hand your business plans over to Claude and Karren.
So, I look forward to seeing you in the boardroom
where I'll be deciding which two of you will be going through
to the final task.
Off you go.
I'm genuinely cacking myself now.
It's like a sense of anticipation of what's going to come.
Upstairs, ready to put the candidates through their paces,
four business heavyweights.
After ten weeks tracking their every move,
there's nowhere to hide from Claude Littner.
Frankly, I'm finding it quite hard
to find anything good about your performance.
What... You know, got any answer for that?
Um, I think if you broke the tasks down...
Yeah, I broke the tasks down, and you lost eight out of ten.
Losing eight out of the ten tasks was horrific.
-It was horrific.
-It was, and...
-I don't know what you're doing here.
Uncovering the personality behind the plan...
Pleased to meet you. Take a seat.
..managing director of a billion-pound media agency,
Have a look at what you wrote here.
"Describe something you would do if you knew you wouldn't get caught."
"Fart in a lift full of supermodels."
Why would you...?
I mean, I just don't understand
why you'd want to do that,
or do you think that's something that Lord Sugar would look at
and think, "Yeah, this is my potential business partner"?
Distinguishing hot air from cold hard fact...
You've done research showing that 90% of beauty hall managers
-are unhappy with their temporary staff.
..publishing magnate Mike Soutar.
-How many managers did you actually speak to?
So, what's 90% of six people?
90% of six people?
So, there was only one person that was happy with
what they were getting, you know, so...
So, is five out of six 90%?
I'm on the spot now.
I don't know.
Finally, assessing their plans with a sharp eye and even sharper tongue,
founder of a global design company, Linda Plant.
How much profit did you make in that company?
It was a massive loss.
Wait, you made a massive loss in that company?
Not a loss, but there was no... I think...
When the money was in the bank, it seemed to just dwindle.
So, you made a loss,
you don't know how much the loss was, it was massive.
You had money in the bank, it dwindled away...
Do you know what you're talking about here?
Um... Basically... No, I don't think I do, actually.
No. That's what I think.
This is Claude's favourite day of the year.
-This is like Christmas for Claude.
Five young idiots with a business plan
-that he can completely rip apart.
-OK, speak for yourself, Courtney.
We have one idiot and four successful people.
-Go on, Alana.
Confidence, confidence, confidence, confidence, confidence...
I think Alana will be brilliant.
She has changed so much.
When she first started, she was crying, she'd no confidence.
I wish I was in one of the interviews, getting all the cake.
I thought, as my business is in cake manufacturing,
I would let you have them to try.
Right, we'll leave that alone, then, shall we?
Can you just sit back a bit?
So, what is the business that you are proposing to Lord Sugar?
It's a wholesale cake manufacturing business, and they are traybakes.
You've got a small business.
-Lord Sugar, he's going to want to see some growth.
I will be the driving force.
You're going to be the driving force?
It's going to be interesting if someone chips away at Alana.
Is she going to crumble, or is she going to build herself back up?
That's the million-dollar question.
I mean, clearly, you're not exactly a forceful character.
If you're going to be running a large business,
-you've got to be strong.
And I worry whether you're really tough.
I, I... The first...
The first two weeks of this process,
I wanted to walk. I really did.
But there was no way I was going to be weak, so I stuck it out,
and I think that has shown that I'm tough.
I know that I can do it.
It's a business plan that is going to work.
Right, then, Jessica. Tell me about the business
that you would like Lord Sugar to invest £250,000 in.
OK, so, it's a fashion website stocking casual wear.
It's going to be driven through social media influences
such as reality stars, fashion bloggers, people like that.
-So, your celebrity contacts - you're handing money over to them...
-..and they wear one of your dresses...
..and they've got three million followers,
-then you'll sell lots of dresses.
-Marketing seems to be one of your strong points.
So, you started up a fashion retail business with no money,
just a social media account,
and within a year it was turning over £250,000.
-Yes, that's right.
-And you were bought out.
-OK. How much money did you make?
-Not a lot.
-What went wrong with this business?
The operational side, it wasn't running like clockwork.
I mean, it's still running now, but it's not doing anything now.
Do you realise you are still a director of Famous Frocks?
No, I didn't.
So if you go to Companies House,
you are actually listed as the only director.
-No, I'm not aware of that.
-That's very amateurish.
-You're also the director of another company...
..that you own with your sister.
Yes, and a gentleman called Rick as well.
Who's resigned, according to Companies House.
-Oh, has he?
Let me come onto something that has troubled me enormously.
-I can see you've saved a lot of money over the years.
Bloody good for you.
My problem is that, if you want to grow,
I don't know why you don't reinvest that money in your business.
It's a choice between investing it in my business or a house.
So, you're asking a third party to invest in your business
when you haven't got the confidence to reinvest it yourself.
I feel like I've worked really hard for my whole life, and...
And so has Lord Sugar, and that's where the £250,000 comes.
Yes, but... I know what you're saying.
-It's a commitment.
-And it's got to be your commitment.
Be confident, Courtney. You can do it.
Bloody hell, this is fast, isn't it?
So, you're the last man standing.
-Yeah! I'm quite proud of that, actually.
Going through your application,
when you were asked to describe yourself in one sentence, you said,
"I'll give you one word - awesome."
-Well, yeah, I think I've been pretty awesome.
I've won the most tasks out of everyone.
Well, let's talk about an area that you're not so awesome in - sales.
You've never been the top seller, and, as a business owner,
you should absolutely be able to sell.
So, you pitch yourself to me.
Three years ago, I decided to give up everything -
my job, live with my friends, and create my own brand of gifts.
Uh, this business is ready for an investor to put some money in.
-I'm trying to get a bit of something out of you, Courtney.
Because charisma is important in business.
Yeah, but I think sometimes I've maybe found that difficult,
to be, yeah, charismatic with my words, or be eloquent with it...
That's not very good, going into business with Lord Sugar.
Yeah, but, uh...
You've kind of bombarded me with about 80 pages' worth of stuff.
Briefly, explain what the main concept is.
To open a make-up training and recruitment agency
in Northern Ireland.
Also in the premises there's going to be what I have now,
which is the studio and...
-I'm going to stop you.
I've got a problem with this
-because you've been, up until now, a sole trader.
So it's a bit of a jump, isn't it?
No, I don't think it's a bit of a jump. I think it's the next step.
No, no, no. It's a huge, huge jump.
Do you not think it has to start somewhere, though?
Yes, it does, but you start small and grow.
I thought that was small.
Genuinely, Grainne, it's just too much in one go.
It does put into question the whole proposition.
I've never put a business plan together before so, you know...
-Is this your sole work?
-This is mine.
-Not a sinner, nope.
There are some things you need to pass on to somebody else.
I didn't want anyone seeing it.
-Why? They're not going to steal the idea.
-I had Claude.
-How was that?
So, I knew it was never going to be perfect.
You know, I need to grow from this,
I need to learn what they're telling me.
I'm going to take everything on board
because I still believe in, you know, having that agency.
-Good luck, Frances.
Knock 'em dead.
-Hello. I'm Frances.
-Lovely to meet you.
Hi. Please take a seat.
So, Frances, tell me about the business.
OK, so, I've found a gap in the market for past-season stock
to be sold in a boutique environment
and nobody's doing it in childrenswear yet.
-So you buy stock that's now out of season...
-..and then you sell that at rock-bottom prices?
-We do, yes.
Much larger chains do children's clothing at discount rates,
so what makes you different?
Because the second you walk into our store,
it's the customer service element in our shops.
There's breast-feeding rooms, there's colouring tables.
My staff, they just... There's a heart in this business.
-Your business plan says you've got two stores.
Now, I've heard differently.
You've actually had three.
Yes. So we had one in Nottingham.
It was just unprofitable, and it just kind of cancelled itself out.
And there was another store as well,
and you haven't mentioned that in your business plan either.
No, because that was kind of an experimental store, and...
This business plan is trying to pretend
that the mistakes that you've made, they don't matter.
Well, they do matter.
It just undermines trust.
They know everything!
How many more of these have we got to do today?
-It can't get any worse.
You've had quite a lot of businesses, haven't you?
But let's talk about the new business with Lord Sugar.
What are you going to be selling?
Jeans, T-shirts, jumpers, jackets, casual dresses.
Quite a vast product range, isn't it?
How many styles, then, do you plan in that range?
So we'd have...
Sorry, we'd have... Um... We'd have ten...
Sorry. Oh, sorry, I'm not 100% certain on that point.
You're asking Lord Sugar for £250,000 investment,
but when I've asked you just the simplest question,
you don't know.
I don't think that you can produce all those items,
and I do have experience because my career was in the fashion business.
Oh, really? OK.
But just say you could, how have you planned the production?
The production, I'd like to make a small manufacturing process
within the UK. For a jacket, you have a seamstress
who's focusing on the arms and the final details...
No, you don't.
First of all, who's going to cut your patterns?
-How many pattern-cutters are you having?
A jacket is an entirely different process
to producing a dress,
-and a T-shirt is yet another process...
..and a jean is yet another process.
I think you're dreaming.
She ripped me to absolute shreds.
I've lost my dignity up on the 42nd floor.
Oh, my God, that was just horrific.
Is taking cakes to this woman a bad idea?
She could have it for afternoon tea or something.
I don't think she's an afternoon tea kind of woman, I'll be honest.
-Is she not?
-Oh, my God, no!
Go on, Alana.
-I wonder how that cake will go down.
-Alana. Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, Alana.
They are samples of my products, you can take them home
-or you can try them now.
-Well, I think you should unwrap them.
-Plain chocolate brownie. Super-rich.
They are 19p a slice to make.
Rocky roads, 18p.
Um, they sell for £3 at food festivals.
It is a very profitable business.
You've certainly got something here that's profitable,
but you have to have realistic expectations.
-Currently, you turn over 75,000.
But in the new business, projected in the first year, 465,000.
It's very, very ambitious.
But I AM ambitious and I know that... I absolutely know...
Can you tell me one of your competitors
-that's making anything like these profits?
-I know a lot of brand producers.
-How much are they making?
-I don't know.
Are there any competitors making the profits that you are projecting?
-Brown & Blond.
-How much are they making?
-I don't know exactly.
-Thank you, that's enough.
-But I know...
That's enough - you don't know.
Well, Courtney, I've been watching you for the last 11 weeks and,
frankly, for most of that time,
I've wanted to kind of smack you over the face to wake you up.
Seriously, I look in your eyes and I think, "Where's the energy?
-"Where's the passion?"
-What makes you think that?
"What makes you think that?"
Your demeanour. Come on!
-You are a young man and you've got no vitality about you.
You haven't got that killer drive.
Lord Sugar doesn't want to invest in a deadbeat.
Well, I believe I've done well in the tasks and I believe that...
Well, I've won eight of the ten tasks.
And I believe I've been a good part of winning them tasks.
Well, I'm not sure about that.
So, your current business, how many staff do you have?
-Who is that other one?
-That's my partner.
-Your boyfriend and your partner.
-Boyfriend and partner in the business?
-No, no, absolutely not.
-So your boyfriend is also your employee.
-So we're clear.
What's his current role in the company?
He does the same as me, essentially.
So if you fall out with him, can he be replaced?
I mean, that's a very cold thing to have to say.
-It's not about emotions.
-It's about facts.
Those are the things Lord Sugar will want to know.
Cold, hard facts. Yes, then. He could be replaced.
Just tell me a bit about how this business evolved and where
-we are now with it.
-I've created a product design company that
-specialises in making novelty gifts.
-Who's the target market, then?
It would be from the age of around 12 years old to, say, 35.
Come on, Courtney.
-You want more...?
-It's like pulling out teeth.
OK. I personally do feel that my company is underperforming.
-Why is it underperforming?
-It's not due to my demeanour,
I can tell you that. I work my bollocks off, to be honest with you.
I haven't paid myself a proper wage, I've given up everything.
I could have a nice house -
I didn't, I wanted to spend my money on setting up my own business.
Come on, Courtney, yes!
I've worked for everything that I've got,
where I've built the foundations
and I feel like I'm on the cusp of something good.
-Isn't this the toughest day ever?
-It has got to be up there
with one of the most difficult days of my life.
-This is actually worse than childbirth.
This is contractions times 20.
Onto the next one.
the numbers in your business plan are flimsy.
The cash flow numbers don't add up.
Yeah. I think I've a lot more outgoings than ingoings because
I was going a little bit spendy-happy on that, but...
You can't be running a business and be "spendy-happy".
My really big concern is your business plan lacks focus.
You want to be an agency for beauty counter staff...
-..you want to be an agency for make-up artists...
-..you want to run a physical AND online store.
But, you know, I want to open something really big and get a brand
for myself in Northern Ireland.
You said in here, as managing director, you will be liaising
-with clients, training...
..managing staff and doing make-up.
-The managing director can't be doing makeovers.
Just focus on one thing, is that what you're saying?
What do YOU think you should be doing?
Do you know what? I don't know.
How have you been?
I think this is the toughest day,
but it's exciting and I'm learning a lot from it.
I can tell from two minutes of sitting here,
but throughout this process you've been really energetic.
But sometimes you've been bordering on a bit hyper.
-Why is that?
-I think just because I have high energy levels.
Everything I do I deliver with passion,
and I think sometimes that comes...
that can come across a bit too much.
You're very emotional, you've been very emotional in this process,
Do you worry that it affects the way that people view you
-in a business setting?
-Of course I worry.
I want to be shrewd and I want to be able to control that,
because in the outside world I'm not emotional,
I run two businesses and I've got three children
that I raise single-handed and...
I'd say I'm a very strong person indeed.
Right. How did you get to this idea that what you wanted to do was
-At the start of the business, we started with...
-We? Who is the "we"?
-So, I previously had a business partner.
She did the accounts and the figures side.
Good, well, I can see you miss her.
She's a very smart girl.
Little fireball Frances.
Is it really wrong that I'd quite like her to come unstuck?
Let's move on.
Let's just get into the meat of this business plan.
It looks like it's been thrown together, it's appalling.
When I come to the appendix,
which is the real interesting thing for me,
who is responsible for these pages?
-There's supposed to be four pages.
-I've got two.
Yeah, there was another page, the milestones and the sales forecast.
That was unfortunately left off.
How could you possibly put this to Lord Sugar?
This is beneath you.
When I did this, this all didn't seem very real.
If I had my time again, I would absolutely...
God. Look, you've got one time, this is your one shot.
Claude defo hates me!
-That was brutal.
Literally tore me a new one.
Show passion, Courtney. You can do this.
So, Courtney, you claim on your CV that when you worked for
a telecoms company, you were the top salesman in Britain.
That's a typo, it's meant to say "county", not "country".
OK, that's a really BIG typo.
Moving on. You worked for a design company,
they quickly made you head designer, is that correct?
I was the most senior designer.
I've spoken to ex-colleagues,
they say that you were the ONLY designer there.
Have you got a habit of exaggerating?
No, I don't think I do.
OK. It says in your business plan that you are one of
the leading designers in the novelty gift industry.
What facts is that claim based on?
Yeah, that is a self-proclaimed...
OK, well, look, I've got a sketchbook here.
Sketch me something completely brilliant.
That's a lot of pressure, isn't it?
Well, you are one of the leading novelty gift designers in the UK.
I don't think it's an unfair thing to ask somebody like that.
This would be the Lord Sugar Dispenser.
You could pull his head back and out of his mouth pops some sugar cubes.
Thank you very much for that.
Yeah, I may have inflated a few things in my CV.
-Just said I was head designer at my old company.
I was the only designer, really. I had a placement student.
What? You've got to give yourself a good job title, haven't you?
Did you give yourself, like, employee of the month?
Every month. Yeah.
Frances, tell me, there is no doubting that you're a hard worker,
but you put in your application that you're really disorganised
and that your filing is in your handbag.
-That terrifies me.
Ask anyone in this process, they will tell you how organised,
on the ball I have been.
I did write that as a very, very flippant comment,
and if I could take it back, I would.
Do you think Lord Sugar wants someone
-that writes flippant comments?
-Pleasure to meet you.
-How are you feeling?
Just tell me a bit about your background. This is a quick...
-This is quick, OK?
-Short and precise.
So, I'm from Burnley, left school at 16.
I had six Cs, a D, E, F and a U for GCSE level.
Then I started working in little nightclubs selling shots
-and from that I started working abroad, I came back...
-SPEECH FADES OUT
You said in your business plan that you're going to train
the make-up artists to have all the knowledge of all the brands.
-Right, so if I go into my make-up bag,
would you tell me the USP of, say, that and that product?
Now, this is a test.
So, Courtney, tell me about this product.
This is the Cheers Baby Bottle.
It's designed to be filled with milk and kids can go "cheers"
at, like, their parents' wedding with it.
It looks like a champagne flute. Is that appropriate for children?
So that is liquid blush, isn't it?
-It's not liquid.
-Oh, it isn't?
So, Alana, you describe the main market for the business
as independent delicatessens.
-So how did you work out that there are 7,000 in the UK?
Based on an average of how many there are in my town
and how many people there are in my town.
Do you think that's a robust and scientific enough way to do it?
That's, you know...
You have no idea how many there are in the UK, do you?
Do you know what the main selling point is of this brand's lipsticks?
I then started a clothing brand
which was successful on the outside, but the operation side wasn't great.
OK, let's move on because I want to get to the end.
So, Courtney, I see that you live on £8,000 a year, is that correct?
Yeah, I live my life on a shoestring.
I made the decision two years ago to move back home into my parents',
in the spare room, cos I wanted to put everything into the business.
Your catalogue has got 140 products in - 33 are yours.
So the majority of what you're selling is not your own designs.
Moving forward, that's what I'd actually like to phase out
-and sell all my own product range.
-Well, if you're on your own,
you won't have a catalogue with 140 products, will you?
You'll have a catalogue with 33 products.
The point I'm getting at here, Courtney,
is there isn't really a lot of foundation to your design business.
With that investment, I want to make new products.
I'll then have more than the 33 products.
You have not convinced me that you've designed enough.
I believe 33 products is rather impressive to create in three years.
It's nothing in this market.
This market is huge volumes.
By your own words, you are operating from a bedroom.
"Lust And Lies."
-All I can see is a huge amount of problems.
You've got all these celebrities,
you're paying them, like, 3,000, 2,000, 1000...
-You're paying a whole load of money...
..and no money coming in.
Yes, we are having to pay out the initial outlay of marketing,
but it's a marketing-led business.
But it's a marketing-led business which is very, very uncertain.
It's all front-end risk. You haven't got a certainty of actually selling
that particular line. Plus the fact you've got to buy the fabric,
you have a machinist to make it...
-..there could be returns,
-there's the admin work, refunds.
I can see the money escaping.
You're almost dead before you start the business going.
That's me done for the day.
That's been gruelling.
It's like a verbal beating-up.
I thought it'd be more like a meeting of minds and they'd all be
like, "Oh, yeah, what you've done is really impressive."
Oh, God. I've still got Linda.
-Hi. Lovely to meet you.
All right, let's go into your business a little bit.
-You've got four staff.
Four in total, including me.
It's good you've got a business
that CAN generate profits, but there are a couple of areas that worry me.
You're showing £121,000 worth of stock.
-How have you valued that stock?
So I've worked it back...
I'm not good at figures and I'm sure it shows in there,
I'm horrific at figures.
So, if you're horrific at figures,
what's Lord Sugar going to say to that?
Well, that's why I have... You know, my bank manager is fantastic.
Well, your bank manager is not going to run your business.
No, no, let me finish.
I learn from everyone that is talking to me,
from the market traders to the wholesalers,
and I would be a fool not to listen to it.
-Yeah, but what are you learning?
What are you learning? I happen to understand that business and I know
how difficult it is, and you tell me you're rubbish at figures,
-you know, that's quite serious.
-No, I haven't said "rubbish at figures",
I have said figures are my weakness.
I'm worried how much weight there is behind this talk.
Can Lord Sugar invest and feel secure that he is going to
build something, you know?
You have to take it on what I have done
and I have done an absolute lot.
I'm not sure at all.
I am strong, I am invincible...
-I am woman.
I am tired.
What a day that's been.
I would never fear having an interview ever again.
-I could do with a large brandy.
-Yesterday was the most intense thing I've ever experienced.
There's nothing in life that can prepare you for the interviews.
It would be the worst thing to get this far
and then fall at the final hurdle.
-If I didn't agree with something,
I challenged the interviewers, and I will do the same today.
I'll never surrender.
-Claude said I lacked passion and I lacked drive.
That worries me. I'm going to show Lord Sugar my business means
everything to me. I'm not ready to go home yet.
-I feel really positive after them meetings yesterday.
I'm going to take all that criticism on board
and show Lord Sugar that I CAN have a business
and it IS worth investing into.
-I genuinely do believe I do deserve this
more than the other candidates.
I'm not here to be in the final five - I'm here to win it.
Well, welcome back to the boardroom.
You've had a look at the five last candidates in this process.
Would you like to suggest one that we should start off with?
I asked him to pitch himself to me,
but I didn't find him very engaging, and when you put that together
with sales, it's a bit of a concern.
He was never very good at pitching. In fact, before he starts the pitch,
he should start off with a warning that it may cause drowsiness.
It's a shame because people do business with people.
-And if he had a bit more personality...
Cos he's clearly bright.
-Let's get down to the products, shall we, now?
When I drilled into his current business,
he's actually only invented 33 products in the last three years.
So, actually, he is an inventor, but it's a small business.
But I'm looking for something that's going to be big.
Could this be a big business?
The novelty gift sector is all about catching a wave.
If you back him, then what you're doing is you're backing his instinct
to be able to anticipate what a big-hit product will be
before it's a big hit.
When you look at his business plan, when you look at what he's achieved,
I certainly wouldn't write him off.
Jessica, her business idea, I understand,
is all to do with online fashion.
That's right, so they'll pay minor television celebrities to wear
the outfits and promote them on social media in order to drive sales
-for those dresses.
-I had a quick look at her business plan
and it looked to me that one of the biggest costs
was what she was going to be shelling out to these celebrities.
It's high-risk because if they do wear it,
it may or may not catch on, and if it DOES catch on,
can she capture the market?
And I think you could easily lose your money very, very quickly.
As she did with her first business.
On a positive, reality TV stars on social media
-have a huge following of people...
-..of young people that want
to emulate them, want to look like them.
She is incredibly engaging, incredibly warm.
I think she could persuade celebrities
to actually wear her dresses.
Her new business is called Lust And Lies.
-Called what, sorry?
-Lust And Lies.
That's what she wants me to invest in, a company called Lust And Lies?
-Less H&M and more S&M, it sounds like to me!
Moving on to Grainne.
Her idea is to do two things -
train make-up artists and also become an agency also.
-Is that right?
-There are three things. She actually wants to have
a shop where she can also sell to make-up artists.
Actually, there are four things,
because she also wants to run this as a recruitment agency for
big department stores in Northern Ireland.
I think by the time I had finished speaking to Grainne,
I think she appreciated that actually
she really had bitten off more than she could chew.
Yes, she may have to concentrate on one particular thing.
Yes, but also, one of the things she says in her business plan
is that "our staff are going to know everything
"about different brands," and I actually said to her,
"I'm going to take a couple of products out of my make-up bag
"and, because you are going to be training them, you tell me
"what the USP is." And she couldn't.
-No, so she's maybe shooting too high there, yeah?
It's a shame, because actually she's been a really strong candidate.
She's very logical, she makes decisions well,
she was a good team player.
And her make-up was fantastic,
so she's obviously good at what she does.
She has a business which is
a discount children's clothes retailer.
So what will she do with Alan's 250,000?
Her plan is to expand out.
She has two physical stores at the moment.
I found out that there were previously two full-time stores
-which have since dissolved.
-Oh, that's news.
She talked about her staff, their loyalty to her.
-How many staff has she got?
-She's buying ends of lines,
bankrupt stocks, and she's making a nice profit,
but how scalable is that business going to be?
She did have a partner who did all the accounts,
all the kind of boring stuff,
and now it's all come onto Frances' shoulders.
Yes, her filing system in her office is all run out of a handbag.
We've watched her over the past 11 weeks,
she's been very focused, very, very determined, so for me,
to read her business plan, it was extremely disappointing.
I think Frances has been a great candidate
but I think she's surprised herself
in how far she's gone in this process.
So I think if she could do her business plan now,
it would be so much better.
Yeah. OK, shall we talk about Alana now?
-Her business is cakes, right?
-Her business is making cakes.
What I'm trying to understand is, how does it get from knocking up
a few cakes in your kitchen and flogging them to the local deli
to something where you can start targeting
someone in Glasgow, for example?
Exactly. So, Alana's plan was to scale her business
in delicatessens around the UK. Now, the only problem with that is
there's no data on how many
independent delicatessens exist in the UK.
So how can you estimate your revenues
when you don't know how many customers you might have?
And why would they buy them from her, anyway?
Unless she gets a real great brand of cakes, if you like,
how are they going to know about it to buy it?
And then she's got to get them to them.
You're going to need distribution.
We've got things like sell-by dates coming into play now, right?
This is stuff that has to be made, delivered and eaten.
It's small now, but it's got huge profit margins
and the product is delicious.
She has made money over the past few years.
I said to her, "Why haven't you reinvested that in your business?
"After all, if you haven't got the confidence,
"why would Lord Sugar have the confidence?"
Mm! Well, that has been very, very useful, as ever.
Thank you very much for your assistance.
-Yes, Lord Sugar?
-Could you send the five of them in, please?
-Yes, Lord Sugar.
Lord Sugar will see you now.
-Good morning, Lord Sugar.
I want to make clear that there is nothing wrong with businesses
that employ one or two people,
it is the backbone of the British economy,
but I'm only interested in how the business that I'm going to invest in
ends up being a BIG business and I'm going to decide today
which two of you will be going through to the final.
So, Jessica, online women's fashion.
Your name for this business is...
Lust And Lies.
That sounds like a Jilly Cooper novel to me.
But anyway, one of your biggest costs, £10,000 per month,
which you want to spend with the so-called "celebrities",
whoever they are - don't you think it's a bit of a risk?
I don't, because it is a business model that works.
I've used it in my previous business...
But that business didn't work.
It did. The sales were there, but the returns were quite high
and the returns were chipping away at the money in the bank, and...
OK, so, what's different now, then?
The way I was thinking to reduce returns are by having videos
of how the item flows. You can have measurements of how
an item the consumer has got at home will...
Hold on, hold on, look, it doesn't instil confidence in me.
OK. I mean, I'm open to adapt it.
If there's something that could be better,
I'm completely open to doing that.
However, I know, by using celebrity endorsements and social influences,
that we can and will sell them items.
Hmm. Grainne, I'm a little confused about your idea,
because talking to my advisers,
one can interpret it as about five different things.
I was throwing a lot of eggs into one basket.
So I should've homed in more on the make-up, the application,
the training, the academy and that side of it.
The make-up, what do you mean by the make-up?
I'm also creating a brand as myself as an ambassador for...
-A brand of what?
-Yeah, this is what it...
-What, your own brand of make-up?
-This is what...
-So you're going to compete with
the likes of Mac, for example?
Well, I think, you know, everyone has to start somewhere,
and I am very experienced in the make-up industry and the teaching.
-Teaching people how to do it?
People are going to pay you to train them, are they?
Yes, pay to train with me.
It'll be a worldwide-certified certificate for make-up artists.
How much are you going to charge them?
Well, that certificate will be costing 7,000 per course.
-And you're qualified to teach that course, are you?
I am half-qualified, I'm in the middle of doing it.
-Yeah, I'm nearly finished.
-Oh, you're not even qualified yet?
Not certified yet.
Sounds like I might need certifying to actually invest in this, then.
Lord Sugar, I want to open an academy, create a make-up brand.
-I want to have both.
I'm not just playing it safe,
I want to start a brand and get it out there...
Look, look, Grainne...
You know, I'm going to be bluntly honest with you.
I just can't see this.
-It's been nice to be associated with you,
but it is with regret that you're fired.
Thank you so much, I really appreciated everything.
Girls, good luck, OK?
Best of luck, all of yous.
Alana, you want me to invest in your cake business,
want me to provide the hundreds and thousands.
Cupcakes was a great fad, wasn't it, three, four years ago?
-And people made a bit of money flogging them to friends,
then they go to the local deli and they sell a few to them also,
and then they kind of hit a brick wall.
My business is so far away from the cupcake.
OK, who do see your target customer?
The food service industry, so anywhere that sells coffee,
-and then I see it going nationwide.
-There's a huge market for them.
-How do you get to them all?
I mean, his products, for example, you look at a picture of it...
It would be sample-based, it would be...
-So they have to taste it?
-They would absolutely have to taste it.
So you find some bloke in Gloucester, for example,
that's running a coffee shop,
and you've spent a couple of hours driving to him,
and they may or may not give you an order. Yeah?
But the main source of my current business is food festivals,
country shows, and I will also still be going to the events, so...
Well, you can't be everywhere, can you?
Yes, but whilst there's staff on my stand,
I can be going and building relationships...
Claude tells me that you've accumulated
quite a lot of money from this already.
I've been saving towards a house since the age of 16.
When I started my business, as I was making money,
I ploughed it back in to get it bigger and bigger and bigger.
So why haven't you reinvested it?
I have been reinvesting... small amounts.
You need to be a bit more ambitious, really.
I do invest in my business...
You're talking to me about more staff and all that stuff -
doesn't seem like you want to put your own money into that.
No, I do invest in my own business,
but the reason I'm here is because I want more than just the money.
I want Lord Sugar and Lord Sugar's advisers and his team on board.
Now, Courtney, you've got this gift-design thing, yeah?
What worries me about your business is that you just go online and you
type in "novelties" and 20,000 things come up there straight away.
So, why are your products special?
I personally feel that my industry,
it's not really up to date with the current trends,
and that's something that I'd bring.
I look at future trends, I look at current trends,
and I try and create products for gifts...
-Every single item of yours could be knocked off.
If it becomes popular, just by changing the dimension, the shape,
another company would be knocking it off just like that.
It's all about getting it out there cheaply and quickly,
so I can get a product from idea to market in under three months.
That's true, it's speed, and then as soon as you're being copied,
you're out, on the next thing.
I want the £250,000 to increase my sales distribution network in the UK
to supermarkets, high-street retailers.
That's the key of what I want to get my products into.
-I know my kind of product...
-Hold on, hold on.
Knowing the retail market as I do,
I'm trying to see why they would buy this type of stuff from you.
And that's why I want you on board, because I believe having your name
associated with my business will help me...
Yeah, I mean, you know, let me tell you that I've heard
that story before from a couple of previous winners
who said, "Right, now you're behind me,
"when I pick up the phone to Mr Supermarket..."
And they say, "I'm Lord Sugar's partner." You know what it comes to?
Jack shit. Nothing. Don't mean anything.
The product's got to stand on its own two feet.
Now, Frances, you've got these two shops.
-One of my advisers, Linda,
she says one of the weaknesses of your business
is the scalability of it.
Because it relies upon end of lines,
when you've bought a range of kiddies' shoes
and they sell like hot cakes, what do you do?
Can't get any more, so you've got to go and try and find something else.
You don't know what's coming next, really.
We do not know what's coming but the stock is there available.
I've been in this industry now for two years and I know it inside out.
I have made good contacts.
In terms of scalability, it is a case of we have only
scratched the surface with the brands that we are speaking to...
But I'm talking about scaling up, you know,
shop number four, shop number five.
You've got to think about inventory, the staff that you employ,
-and you've got to start putting in systems, right?
But you're not very good on systems, from what I can understand.
All your invoices and bills and everything
go into your handbag at the moment.
That was a very, very naive comment I made, and...
Well, do they or don't they?
Six months ago, yes, but coming into this process I've...
-These two stores...
-Can you do it, though? That's the point.
I genuinely, genuinely believe that I can and I think that it is
genuinely a very strong business investment.
Jessica, you have been in business before.
That didn't work out too well.
-No, it didn't.
-I do believe that you have got the personality and you're
good at sales and I get the marketing side of it.
Nevertheless, what you want to do is exactly the same thing again.
Yeah, that's correct.
I have concerns, Courtney, about your business, I really do.
You're in the unfortunate position of your business being
the closest thing that I've been doing all of my life,
and I know of the sensitive things that can go wrong. Erm...
Frances, my concern with you is your lack of understanding
of the finances, and it may have been a throwaway line
about this handbag which had all the paperwork in it,
but many a true word spoken in jest sometimes.
Yes, this is very difficult at this stage.
Lord Sugar, I know that we'd turn a profit a lot quicker
than any of the four businesses here. A large profit.
Well, she's making good profits at the moment.
But our margins would be unbelievable as well.
The business model is a tried and tested business model and it works.
I think you've got great sales ability
but it's a very, very risky idea.
Jessica, it is with regret that you are fired.
Thank you so much. It's been absolutely incredible.
Good luck, everybody.
Erm, look, I've got three good businesses
that have been explained to me and I've got two good people here
also that have been around in this past 11 weeks.
If you don't mind,
I'm going to ask you to step outside for a few moments while I talk
to them and I'll call you back in.
Now, we've got young Courtney. I find him still a bit lacklustre.
He needs a firework somewhere.
I have to say, I've seen him in pitches, Alan, and trust me,
there's little or no charisma.
We know what his weaknesses are,
but look what he's achieved over a limited period of time.
You've got to actually admire the guy.
Right, now, Frances,
she can talk up for herself and she's employing three other people.
I think it would just be her organisational skills,
that's what I would query.
I can't ignore about her business in her handbag.
It's a sort of sole trader mentality, that, isn't it?
Yeah. Alana has come out of her shell.
She's been very quiet throughout the process
but it's not for a lack of knowing her business.
The problem is whether she can find some more trade customers
to take volume off of her. Let's get them back in.
-Yes, Lord Sugar?
-OK, can you send the three of them in, please?
Yes, Lord Sugar.
Lord Sugar will see you now.
You've done very well, you three, and you're good people.
The business is one thing,
but the nature of the people is another thing,
and so, Alana, for example, you've lacked a bit of confidence.
I can guarantee you 100% I do not have a lack of confidence.
No, I mean, I have seen an improvement.
My concern is whether you've got that confidence to go forward.
-I wouldn't have stuck...
-Ambition is another thing.
I've got so much ambition.
When I was in school I was doing my business,
-because this is what I have ambition in.
Courtney, you've always looked like you have a lack of energy
and I wonder whether you are going to be able to talk to retailers,
to break through to that next level.
I think I've suffered with maybe some nerves
and I believe I can work on that. All I would say is that...
I want this so badly and I've given absolutely everything for this.
Like Alana, I had savings,
I could've gone and got a flat but I didn't want that.
I wanted to put all my money into my business and risk everything
that I've got to build up this company and be a success.
I mean, my business plan is absolutely superior.
I think the fact that I'm turning over just £70,000,
£75,000 with a £39,000 profit shows how good my business is.
You've done very well but you've never employed anybody, have you?
-I think you have one...
-I currently employ one employee.
You've got one employee.
To scale this business up, you've got to employ staff,
you've got to build your kitchens,
you've got to get around the country and all that.
-You've never done it before, have you?
-I have never done...
I've not organised a large team, no.
I genuinely feel that I am confident leading my staff and managing teams
and I genuinely think it is difficult to come up with
a business model that makes good profits and good margins.
That is what I have shown I can do.
As nice as they are at the moment,
two shops is not really of any interest to me.
But I feel that it does have the scalability,
-it does have the potential.
I believe that I'm the only person sitting here that actually has
the platform to build a big business.
You are a one-man band, right?
She employs four people, including herself.
But with Frances' business plan,
she wants to set up five more shops in the North of England.
Alana wants to sell cakes nationwide,
but I think that's going to be very difficult for her to do.
I believe that my business...
Why should big stores buy your merchandise
-when they can buy it themselves?
-My products are unique.
If I get them in the right shops,
I think we will have big success together.
If you get them in the right shops.
I've got them in multiple high-street shops already.
OK, look. Erm...
I have to consider who's going to be in my final.
Frances, I think that...
..your business is a bit risky, as far as I am concerned.
I like the margins of your product.
I like the improvement I've seen in the person that I met 11 weeks ago.
Erm... But I've got to say, to scale this business up,
you've got to employ staff, build your kitchens -
how many cakes have you got to sell just to cover them alone?
Courtney, you may be at a disadvantage that your business,
I can understand every detail, every nut and bolt.
I'll be seeing you in a couple of days' time.
You are going to be in the final.
Oh, my gosh. OK, thank you very much.
Frances and Courtney, it's a tough one.
Frances, this idea...
is not scalable.
I want a big business.
So I wish you the best of luck,
but I'm not going to be investing in you.
-Thank you. Good luck, guys. All the best.
And there was two.
Congratulations, you two.
You've battled your way through 11 weeks of gruelling tasks.
You're now going to go into the final.
If you think what you've done so far is tough,
the final is going to be even tougher still.
But in the meantime, take a little rest
and I'll see you in a couple of days' time.
-Thank you so much.
We've done it.
All the best, yeah?
I am a more charismatic person than Courtney.
I genuinely, genuinely thought I could be in that final,
but I'm not, you know, I'm sat here instead.
But I've got such a bright, brilliant future.
-We did it. Well done, Alana.
-Oh, God, that was right in my ear.
It's all smiles now but you're the one person
standing in my way of £250,000.
Yeah. This investment is mine.
My heels are firmly in the ground, Courtney.
Maybe you could use that money you've saved up for a house.
Now only two remain.
The search for Lord Sugar's next business partner is nearly over.
For your final task, I want you to launch your businesses.
Hello, ladies and gentlemen.
Three, two, one, action!
-I look at that and I'm bored.
-You're really missing the point, Sofiane.
No, I think you're missing the point.
Brand change, logo's changed, I've put my name in it.
Do I scream luxury?
What we have here is a trophy baby beaker.
Only one can win.
You're going to be my business partner.
The battle to become Lord Sugar's business partner is nearing the end, as the remaining candidates have 24 hours to brush up on their business plans and face the formidable interview process. It's time to get a grilling from four of Lord Sugar's trusted advisors - Claude Littner, Claudine Collins, Mike Soutar and Linda Plant. After plans are scrutinised and characters questioned, Lord Sugar selects his two finalists.