The final five candidates are summoned to Lord Sugar's offices, where some of his closest associates put them through their paces in the interviews.
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Lord Sugar's on the search for a brand-new business partner.
This is a business proposition from heaven.
On offer, a £250,000 investment.
-We need to go now.
Oh, my God!
18 candidates have been whittled down to a final five.
To infinity and beyond!
Your behaviour is ridiculous.
Can you actually physically do it?
-With a life-changing prize...
You've done extremely well to get here.
..who will reach the final?
You're fired. You're fired.
You will not be my business partner.
This programme contains some strong language.
-You're going to act as fashion agents at your very own
-Cash in on clothing.
-I won't be putting myself forward for project manager.
-I think you're probably best placed.
In the spotlight, team leader Jade...
Maybe she could be like this.
..took a punt on premium pieces.
Like a gold ghost.
But with a branding boo-boo...
She goes by another name.
..and luxury prices...
-Is there any flexibility with the price?
-We haven't got any movement.
..orders were slim.
It is just far too high.
On the other team...
I would love to be project manager.
..Joanna picked affordable clothing.
The one that we're going for is cheaper than the other designer.
Despite supermodel-sized strops...
We need to just start running through it.
Do you want me to direct it or do you want me to make a mess of it?
..their collection sold well.
You might as well just take the whole one and I'll give you 10% off.
-Go for it.
In the boardroom,
Joanna had it all sewn up.
The orders were £25,663.50.
-On the losing team, Sarah got shirty.
If you're going into business with Lord Sugar, you have to be capable, you have to be competent.
But Harrison got clobbered.
Harrison, you're fired.
And Jade was hung out to dry.
This was a big mess-up.
Now, the final five remain
to fight for the chance to become
Lord Sugar's business partner.
One week till Lord Sugar makes his final choice.
You got through that boardroom. How'd you do it?
It was the worst by far.
Hey, aren't you hard?!
Down to five, now. We've got to carry on.
Here we go.
-Good morning. Lord Sugar would like you to meet him
tomorrow morning at 34-37 Liverpool St.
-Please bring your business plans with you.
Joanna! James! Michaela!
-We have to be in Liverpool St tomorrow morning with our
-I'm absolutely bricking it, I'm not going to lie.
Who is going to be Lord Sugar's next business partner?
Me, and I'll give you all a job.
-Oh, thanks, mate!
For the final five...
..one last chance to go over their business plans.
It's set to expand by 70%.
It's hard to remember everything.
I think I've got a natural aura of...
James White has three years' experience
as an IT recruitment consultant with a major company.
I know that I'm a credible candidate, I know that my experiences speak for itself.
This would generate more than 100,000 gross profit.
I can't sleep properly. I just wake up and I'm thinking...
-..I'm going to win this!
Michaela Wain already owns several companies and boasts a turnover
of £2.7 million.
I know how to start a business but I just don't know how to take it to
that next level, and that's why I've come into this.
But I've not had an interview for 13 years and I just say
Oh, God, I'm just going to embarrass myself!
OK, let's hope Lord Sugar's got a sweet tooth!
Confectionery gift company owner Sarah Lynn has spent the past
seven years building up her business.
I'm a rounded, full package.
I'm doing the business that I'm talking about.
An investment from Lord Sugar would allow me to scale the business up
and really see it soar.
So I'm excited, feel fully credible and, yeah,
-raring to go.
-I've really missed you guys, I really have.
Florist Elizabeth McKenna has been singled out by Lord Sugar for both
praise and criticism.
God, you're as big as I am and that's saying something!
My wildest dreams had me in the final five.
Lord Sugar could have sacked me at various different occasions and I
think he saw something to keep me in.
He gave me a cheeky smile the last time he sent me back to this house
and I'm going to take that cheeky smile back to him and say, "Come on,
"let's take it a bit further."
Oh, my God, I can't say that!
Right, what says "winner's outfit"?
Despite being the youngest candidate...
The legendary power-shoulder blazer?
..politics graduate Joanna Jarjue has the best track record in the process.
I've won eight out of ten tasks.
I've also won both project management tasks that I've run.
Some people might have thought I was the underdog but I've come back fighting every week.
Literally my eye is on the ball and the ball has £250,000 written on it.
So, James, how are you feeling on your final day? Cos it's going to be an all-girl final.
-As you know!
-That's fighting talk.
It won't be bad coming third.
Just trying to get in the zone, now, just get focused.
I haven't got butterflies in my stomach, but something's flapping in there.
In the heart of London's financial district...
..the Crosspoint building.
-ALL: Good morning, Lord Sugar.
Now, this building represents one of my company's most recent investments.
And in order to develop this building,
every square inch has been gone over with a fine-tooth comb.
And that is exactly what's going to happen to your business plans today.
I've asked four of my most trusted business advisors, including Claude,
to go over your plans in minute detail.
And they won't miss a trick,
so you'd better hope everything is in order.
So, I'd like you to hand over your business plans now
to Claude and Karren.
Well, good luck, and when I see you in the boardroom tomorrow,
I'm going to decide which two of you are going to go through to the final.
Off you go.
Lying in wait, four merciless interviewers.
Getting to the heart of matters,
managing director of a £1 billion media agency...
You know there's an expression that someone's too nice?
I have had that in this process...
..but I don't feel anyone on the outside world would describe me as
-not tough enough.
-And yet in your application form you said there have
been many times when you've not been tough enough.
Publishing supremo Mike Suter.
You went straight from university into recruitment.
-And you've done pretty well, is that right?
Reading between the lines.
Yeah, I did do pretty well in the company I was in.
You said in your application you left under a cloud.
That is correct, yes.
Did they sack you?
They did, yeah.
Having scrutinised the candidates for ten weeks, Claude Littner.
Michaela, throughout this process you kind of go into
disinterested mode or to playful mode.
In absolutely everything I've done I've tried 100%.
There's some things that I'm just not good at, and nobody is perfect.
-I'm sure there's things that you're not good at, Claude.
Also unleashed on the business plans, founder of a global design company...
"We have a face, we show it."
-What does that mean?
-You can ring me, speak to me,
I'll talk to you about what I've got and I'll make you something to send
to one of your clients and show that I care about you as much as you care
-What's your motto?
-No guts, no glory.
No guts, no glory. That suits me.
-Good luck, Elizabeth.
-I wish that was a bourbon, I tell you.
I'm scared of throwing my guts up, though, and then losing all the glory.
You are the master of your own destiny.
It's all about you, now.
-Let's do this.
-LIFT: Doors open.
So, Elizabeth, describe the business that you want Lord Sugar to invest
OK, well, I currently run a business that is three florists that are linked together.
My business structure is very, very, um...
What's the word I want?
No, I've lost my word, let me find it.
Um, efficient. I have a very,
very efficient way that I run my business and my plan is to extend
the corporate gifting side of the business dramatically,
offering a service that can be made up centrally and be sent
around the country.
..an online florist.
You're doing nothing different so far as I can see.
Joanna, task one, there was a flare-up with Bushra.
Task two, you fell out with Jade.
Task three, you created tension because you thought your views were
not being listened to. You've always got an argument one inch away from
where we are. So I'm astounded that you've got to this stage.
But you're here,
so can you just explain exactly what this business is?
Basically the business is like an Asos for work where it's to provide
appropriate and stylish clothing for women in office-based scenarios.
Well, I think the idea is not a bad one, OK,
but I have some knowledge of the fashion industry.
-So I want you to explain to me how you'd go about it.
I would call wholesalers and see if they can send me some catalogues
of the kind of things that they actually stock.
Yeah. They're not going to send you a catalogue because it just doesn't
work that way - it's a fast-moving pace of product.
Anyway, let us assume you've got the stock, the customer buys it.
And then she tries it on...
Doesn't really like it, so you've got a return.
When it comes back, it's frankly unsaleable.
The outsourced service that I've picked,
they're going to go through all the clothing, re-tag it, clean it,
-No-one's going to do that.
Basically, you've got a passion for it, that's a tick in the box.
You've got no other ticks in the box.
You don't know how much you don't know
because you don't know.
-LIFT: Doors closing.
Definitely cannot get any worse than that.
-What was it like?
-I was just like...
-JOANNA BREATHES RAPIDLY
-Was he tough?
-So do you think you came over well?
How'd you think Elizabeth's coping? She's been in there ages.
How would you describe your temperament?
My temperament can be mixed.
OK. OK. That probably explains reviews which I have read online...
-..about your business.
Somebody had "the unfortunate experience of speaking to Elizabeth.
"She was angry and shouting."
Somebody else said, "Avoid like the plague."
-How does that make you feel?
It absolutely cuts me to the core that people would say that when
somebody's worked very, very hard.
I am the sort of person that will say, "No, actually, enough's enough."
So you disagree, you weren't rude?
ELIZABETH GROANS LIFT: Doors opening.
So tell me a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Bolton, if you can't tell by my accent.
-I can tell.
-My mum was poor, she was on her own at 23 with three kids,
so we just didn't have an awful lot.
Not that I didn't like my childhood, it was amazing, I love my brothers.
But I wouldn't want my son to get benefits and free school uniforms
and all that. So I started the business, grafted and took it to
-where it is.
So tell me, what is the biggest misconception about you?
People always think I'm confident,
because when I get nervous, you know, like, I talk loud and I say inappropriate things, perhaps,
just anything so that people don't know that inside I am crumbling.
Why do you have a problem with your confidence?
I don't like feeling like I'm being judged or something.
And you've heard how I speak, like,
I know obviously I'm going to come down to London and you're all like, "Oh, hello," and I'm like, "Easy."
I guess it comes from an insecure place. I don't know why.
I think it's concerning, because Lord Sugar wants someone that is
confident in themselves.
Yeah, but when it comes to business, like, I'm not insecure,
I don't feel insecure. If there's a problem, I sort it out.
But if it's other things, like all this now...
-Hello, Sarah Lynn.
Can you describe for me the business that you want Lord Sugar to invest in?
So it's to build on the small business I've built, and we source
unusual and classic confectionery and we repack it into boxes and bags
and we sell it in retailers and online.
Your website will presumably play quite a significant role
-in delivering your vision, wouldn't it?
When I went on your existing website,
much of it simply didn't work.
Weddings and Events didn't work, Treats Tuesday didn't work,
Signature Lines didn't work.
That's really frustrating to hear.
It was very poor.
I want to turn to your brand.
-This is one of your products, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
Can you describe what's on the table in front of you?
I think it's fantastic. It's fun, it's unique, it's beautiful.
-So this is a unique product?
Here's one of your competitors.
Here's another one of your competitors.
Now, to me, that just looks exactly the same.
I... So, to me, they don't look the same.
That won't make any difference to the consumer.
Er... I think the bow on the top adds to the value of it.
So it's the bow?
Every other situation in life that you can imagine,
James's smooth talking will get him somewhere.
Claude just doesn't care.
All right, James, let's just talk a little bit about this business plan.
It's an IT recruitment business.
We're currently looking at digital technology,
the cyber-security industry. The clients that I'm actually targeting,
these are clients that I had when I was with my previous company.
OK. So it is a fresh start?
-And yet you are being completely crazy with the numbers.
You know, year three, for example, where allegedly you're making £9 million.
-That's absolutely ridiculous.
They're very, very ambitious numbers.
All these, three million, six million, nine million, 12 million...
Oh, they just scream ludicrous.
I was earning, like, 200,000 a year just myself.
-It's a different thing.
Your plan relies on some major companies becoming your client.
When you are with a substantial, established company and you make a
phone call to that big company over there, they'll take your call,
-you're going to get a great opportunity.
When you phone up as a small business and say, "It's James here,"
you don't get the time of day.
I know how it works and I'm here to achieve it.
But it's not achievable. It's not going to happen.
Just get through it, don't be sick.
LIFT: Doors opening.
In your executive summary you say your business will effectively
provide a comprehensive database of all constructive projects being
undertaken throughout the UK.
Yeah, it's a website that will tell you about all the planning
permissions, and plumbers, roofers,
builders and whatnot will subscribe to this to find jobs.
And how are you getting the planning applications?
The majority of it would come from councils and then it would be the
researchers' job to then go into it and get the finer details.
So how many researchers will you have in year one?
-And how many planning applications do you anticipate per month?
It would be thousands.
Doesn't that require a really substantial amount of manpower?
No, if the system's right then no-one will...
Do you know how many researchers your main competitor has?
-Yeah, but we're charging
much cheaper rates than what they would.
But this kind of business is much more about the quality
of the information than the price.
Why would I come to you?
-And let me say something else.
You want to set up a business that you have no experience in whatsoever.
-I've got experience of it.
-What's your experience of that business?
It's that I've used both competitors for the last 20 years,
I see the flaws in their system, I'm creating a better system...
I don't buy it. I don't buy it.
It's unfortunate if you don't buy it, but if you chose to go to my
competitor then I'll see you in two years' time when that contract runs
out and you come back to me because my information's better.
I would choose to go to your competitor.
And then you'd come back to me after two years.
-How'd that go?
Yeah... Yeah, she was all right, man, it wasn't...
You know what she's like, a glamorous auntie.
You know, when you want to go round her house cos she's going to give
you pure biscuits and some spending money.
That makes me feel so much better.
-You'll be fine.
-Good old Linda!
So was that a motivational speech for Joanna or is she actually really nice?
So you mention blouses, dresses, shirts, trousers...
Where are you going to get these products from?
So, that would be ad hoc from wholesalers.
Ad hoc from wholesalers?
You can't just walk into a wholesaler and get a range of merchandise.
-But if I could just...
-Are they going to have enough stock?
Are they going to have the size ratio that you need?
What about when you sell something and you want repeats?
Are they going to have it?
If I could just shift the focus...
You want to shift the focus from the products at the very core of the business.
-That is what you want... Well, what?! What is the core
of the business? Without the product have you got a business?
Have you got a business without the product?
Have you? Just answer me, yes or no?
-That's an obvious "no" but what I'm trying to...
You've got no business without the products, and actually...
So if you're not manufacturing...
My career was the fashion business so I know, I absolutely know.
-If I could explain...
-You've got no product.
-We're going to hear that lift ping.
-And then Joanna just come out holding her head.
LIFT: Doors opening.
I thought you said she was nice.
Savage. I don't know what else to say, but good luck.
I was looking at your website on my phone.
And, you know, your website looks very established, actually, already.
And down at the bottom here, it says you are a member of APSCo.
That's the leading trade body for the recruitment industry, isn't it?
-And I think it's really impressive that you've achieved their recognition so quickly.
-But I've checked and your company isn't registered.
So I haven't officially joined as of yet.
But it's on your official live website.
Yeah. It's just I haven't had the money to join and the plan was...
So you've done it the cheap way, then, haven't you, you've just put the logo on there already?
-If you'd paid the fee...
-..it would make you out to be a professional organisation.
This makes you look like a rank amateur.
LIFT: Doors closing.
With Linda, I think Elizabeth will struggle.
She's had a couple of appetisers.
Liz is definitely going to be the main course.
That's what you are here to do, give as good as you get.
Give as good as you get.
LIFT: Going down.
You are a multi-florist business.
-What is that?
-Well, I have three flower shops.
Yeah. Is that simply what it is?
-Turnover is £486,000.
-Showing a net profit of 18,000?
-Not good, is it?
-What's wrong with it?
-What's wrong with it?
-That is after I've drawn a salary for myself,
-paid all of my staff, no credit...
-All that's part of business.
Paying your staff is part of the business.
-So talk me through the plan.
OK. You run a business, you need to send flowers to somebody -
I send them for you nationally.
Right, so that's what Lord Sugar's got to know.
-It's a very simple idea.
-I think it's a bit too simple, actually.
Good afternoon, Claude.
Sarah. In your opening quote, it says, "Women are like tea bags.
"You don't know how strong they are until you put them in hot water
"and then you find out." Well...
..we have found out about you and you failed that test.
And I say that because throughout the tasks, you've just hung back.
And I wonder whether that's not a trait in your business.
That's frustrating to hear because, for me,
it's all about the passion behind this brand - that's why I've done all of what I've done on my own.
I want to make this huge and I feel like we're at a tipping point now.
But you started this business February 2009.
-Seven years ago.
There's so much we had to do to get the product range right
and streamlined, to get everything absolutely correct.
I don't know how plausible all this is, really.
You haven't done it. You've just hung back.
Get on with it.
Since 2010, how many companies have you run or co-owned?
I don't know. A few.
I've got the details here of them.
There's a magazine and website design company.
There's a holdings company.
These are my companies now, yeah?
There's an undisclosed business.
You tell me.
In your application form, you described Lord Sugar
as a lemon sherbet.
"Bright, firm and crunchy on the outside but in the middle lies
"a bit of bang and fizz."
What kind of sweet would you describe yourself as?
Probably similar to Lord Sugar.
Oh, he doesn't like it when people compare themselves to him.
-OK, well, I could never compare myself to him directly.
But I think that there's definitely fizz and bang in me.
According to Claude and Karren, you're not showing it.
There's a utilities business.
There's a plumbing and heating business.
Oh, yeah, yeah.
"Everything we produce is done with skill,
-"love and attention."
-Don't all florists do the same?
I mean, I looked at your website.
Your flowers don't look that special to me.
Well, I thank you for that.
And now you're telling me that you want Lord Sugar to join with you
in a construction tender website business.
Can I just say that most of these companies are really good?
Doesn't that look like somebody who's going to be massively overstretched?
Would you like me to go out and restart? Because it appears the tone
-is getting a bit confrontational.
-No, I don't want you to restart.
And I don't want to appear confrontational but I do feel your...
So far, I have found you exceptionally aggressive.
And I asked you to explain your business plan - it was quite an arrogant reply.
-"I buy flowers, I sell flowers."
-I didn't say that.
-Do I look simple to you, Elizabeth?
-I didn't say that.
-Do I look simple to you?
-I mean this with all respect - I didn't say I buy...
I don't think you're being very respectful. I think you should take your tone down.
Oh, my God!
What a day.
I hate meeting people.
I want to know where your drive and ambition comes from.
I want to build a business which is successful, you know,
I want to be a multimillionaire.
Why is that?
So, like, my dad was in business, high-end fur and leather shop,
like, sold a coat for £50,000.
Like, high-end stuff and it kind of went bust and he never went back
into business. When he failed,
he lost everything and he reminisces about the times, but I mean,
he's 70 years of age and I want him to have some kind of enjoyment in
life and experience some of the stuff he used to.
I think that's why I come across as quite confident and I've got a lot
of self-belief, but that's just because I just don't want to fail.
You have been running multiple businesses with good turnovers and good profits.
You've got enough of your own money to inject into the business.
You don't really need this investment.
No. No, no, no, no. No, you're wrong.
It isn't just about the investment.
I would like to have a business partner to mentor me about how to
-develop a business.
-What are you talking about?
You've already built a business from zero to three million.
-Do it again.
-But I don't know how to take a company from a three million
turnover to a 30 million turnover, and although it's flattering that
you think I don't need to be here, Claude, if I didn't need to be here,
then trust me, I wouldn't be putting myself through this.
Well, I think it's flattering that you suggest that Lord Sugar can be
the one who's going to take you to this promised land.
You're going to be coming up with the ideas. You're going to be doing
the work, so he's not going to be as helpful as you might expect.
I have spoken to Karren and Claude.
They've told me that you are a hothead.
I think because I wear my heart so much on my sleeve,
I ended up at loggerheads with a couple of people and that kind of
backfired on me quite a lot, so I think the process for me has
-definitely been a journey.
You've got a very distinctive socially responsible concept
-at the core of your business, haven't you?
-Can you tell me about that?
I'd like to be able to put some of the proceeds in the developing world
for another girl to maybe buy a school uniform.
It's a nice mirror, you know.
Whoever is buying my clothing is dressing for success but also they
can help another girl somewhere else in the world kind of dress for success.
I think a business that has a noble purpose at the heart of it
is a brilliant thing. Very impressive indeed.
-LIFT: Doors opening.
Sarah, it's taken you seven years to reach a turnover of 433,000.
But yet you expect us to believe that, in four years,
you're going to reach a minimum turnover of 2.6 million.
-Yes, totally. I totally...
-How are you going to do it?
-I mean, you've done nothing for seven years and yet now,
-you're going to zoom ahead.
-We have... This is our time for growth,
everything has been lined up ready for this work.
Well, you've got to say that, haven't you?
The other thing that does worry me - your website is appalling.
I tried and I could not order anything off your website.
That's why I'm here, because our business will change with
the scalable web platform and it's been something...
But why haven't you done that now?
Because everything today has been about groundwork...
Come on, seven years of groundwork? That's ridiculous.
I feel like with just a little bit of guidance we will be absolutely flying.
I love sweets, but I don't buy your story.
-I'm Joanna. Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
Joanna, how do you feel about confrontation?
-You've argued and clashed with quite a few of your team members,
-Don't get upset.
Why are you getting upset?
I just hate when it's brought up.
I kind of started off on the wrong foot in this process and I think
it's because I was too vocal and I've never been able to shake it.
Any time I give an opinion, it's always, "Oh, here she goes again."
Do you think that you can rein it in, though?
I 100% do, you know.
I've held my hands up for being too outspoken and I've learnt that it
just wasn't coming across the way that I'm intending it.
I think that's been my biggest battle,
kind of showing people who I really am.
God, it's Claude.
Come on. You've got this.
How do you think Elizabeth will get on with Claude?
-It will ruin her.
-He's going to ruin her.
She's just done so much throughout the last task that he can't not touch on that.
He's going to absolutely go in on Elizabeth.
Well, Elizabeth, I have to say that...
..you've got a terrific work ethic,
a great can-do attitude.
You've been an absolutely memorable candidate.
-But the thing is, you are absolutely impossible to work with.
-You are so overbearingly bossy that, honestly,
it's been a trauma to actually watch you throughout every single task
-just taking over.
-I understand what you're saying and I know that can be
one of my weaknesses.
Anyway, Elizabeth, let's look at your business plan.
So here you are, you've got three small businesses.
You've got some stuff but the thing is,
these three shops are barely profitable.
But the corporate gifting sector is massive.
We just need to get in those doors.
But it's not an investable business.
Are you flogging a dead horse here?
-The numbers say different.
Elizabeth, good luck.
-Thank you, Claude.
Oh, my foot's gone to sleep completely.
-Last one, James.
-Last bit of torture for the day.
-Yeah, wish me luck.
I'm pretty sure Linda is going to tip him over the edge.
She just rips you apart, makes you forget all your hopes and dreams.
So let's talk about your new business.
You're predicting in 18 months, you're going to be turning over three million.
-Is that fantasyland?
-Because it's a cut-throat business.
-And I'm extremely good at it.
I'm extremely good at it.
I think you are just quoting numbers and anyone can write numbers.
-Making it happen...
-You're telling someone who's done this. I'm someone...
No, you've done it under the umbrella of a multinational company.
Lord Sugar doesn't want pipe dreams and pie-in-the-sky bullshit.
They're not pipe dreams.
Well, I'm not sure if FTSE 100 companies
are going to come to one-man-band James.
Let's move on.
In your candidate quotes, you say you got your old boss demoted.
I wouldn't say I was responsible. They just saw an opportunity to...
But you wrote that you got him demoted.
Well, they demoted him to put me in that position and I went from 20 contractors to 70 contractors.
-And then you got fired, right? From your job.
-Yes, I did.
-Why did you get fired?
Because you were meeting other recruiters on the side?
-Is that correct?
-So I met with some other investors on the side to look
at starting a business, or starting a new office.
-They found out...
-Do you think that's why they fired you?
-they wanted to get rid of me because they...
-And you say that that adds to your character.
Do you really believe that?
Well, I said that the whole process added to my character.
-It threw me off...
-I think meeting other recruiters on the side and
getting fired doesn't add to your character.
I'll tell you what I do think it does,
I think it puts a shadow over your trustworthiness
with Lord Sugar's investment.
-Are you crying?
-I've just got, like, bloodshot eyes.
-So what happened?
-I mean, it's just quite humbling, isn't it, when she...?
Come here. Give us a hug. Come here.
We've done it. Let's go back tomorrow for a beating
off Lord Sugar as well just to top the week off!
-Let's get out of here.
-I'll second that.
Yesterday, it felt like one long drawn-out car crash,
but I haven't made the sacrifices that I've made,
leaving my husband and son and my business, to not secure Lord Sugar's
-What I said on day one was I'm here to work and I'm here to
win. Well, I've damn well shown I can work,
I've damn well shown I can win.
Now I've just got to complete it.
I've done all that I can throughout this process, it's near killed me.
Ultimately, it's just going to come down to who Lord Sugar wants to invest in.
I can't get him in a headlock, can I?
Yesterday was absolutely horrific but I've been in survival mode from
the word go and I'm not going to come this far without winning.
I know I've got the credentials, but I've got a bit of anxiety.
I just want to know am I in the final, or am I not in the final?
Thanks for once again evaluating the final five candidates.
So anyway, where shall we start?
Joanna... And if I've understood it correctly,
she wants to start a fashion business.
The product that she wants to focus on is women's workwear.
OK. But she's got a shop, she's got a warehouse.
-She has nothing.
-She's got premises.
She hasn't even identified the wholesalers.
She has zero experience of the industry in which she wants to enter.
I think she's also got to grow up a little bit.
I mean, in the tasks, you know, she was always complaining.
You know what, she is only 23, so she is very young.
She got very emotional...
-..in my interview.
She didn't really accept that she is argumentative and she thinks she's
been wrongly labelled.
But do you know what? She was quite tough,
cos I drilled quite deep and I gave her quite a tough interview.
And part of her business was to invest some profits in the
developing world to help girls there dress for success.
And I thought that was a really distinctive marketing idea.
-She certainly has style.
-Absolutely. But then, so do I!
Right, let's move on to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth runs three small florists.
Her business plan is to expand into a flowers-for-business nationwide
delivery service, but when I asked her why her business couldn't just
use one of the existing suppliers for flowers online,
she had no real answer.
I think she's very, very passionate about her business but I didn't
think she had a USP.
What do you think of her as far as a business partner of mine?
She says what's on her mind and, sometimes,
what's on her mind is a bit fighty.
I think she's probably brilliant working on her own, but in partnership,
-I'd have some question marks.
-She might try and fire me.
-But I admire her enthusiasm, because she gets really,
-really stuck in.
-She's got a real work ethic so the question really is
is she capable of actually securing these more corporate-type businesses?
Let's move on to James.
He's a young man in a hurry.
He has got some advantages in that he's been in recruitment and he was
-But, you know, will it be easy,
coming from a very successful company to go into a one-man-band start-up?
I think you've hit the nail on the head.
The figures that he has bandied around are ambitious.
And his ambition can sometimes lead him to making rookie errors.
In his new businesses website, there's an accreditation from the leading trade body.
The big problem is he hasn't registered.
-What do you think, Claudine?
-He gave me no doubt that he was incredibly
serious about this business and he was actually very charming.
But you don't think I'm giving my £250,000 to a smile and a nice haircut?
I think the really interesting thing for you, Alan,
is you're investing in him, not in his business.
Shall we talk about Sarah?
She buys sweets in bulk,
packages them up and then she sells them as gifts.
-OK. Got it.
I was concerned that Sarah's products were really not very original.
So she's got competition, then?
Yes, and she's had the business since 2009,
but she feels that with your investment,
she can develop a huge online business.
Does she have a website at the moment, then?
Yes, but a lot of it doesn't work.
You'd think in this modern day and age,
the first thing you do is get a website, right?
And she hasn't. Well, she has but it doesn't work.
She's a very slow operator and she hasn't invested in the website
because she's too cautious to do it.
-Well, I think what we have seen is that she is somebody who has got
some quality about her.
She is composed. I think she's entirely honest and credible.
If I invest in this, I'd need to get a dentist nearby also.
Let's move on to one that has confused me and that is Michaela.
I have to tell you, she confused me.
She says she really lacks confidence.
She couldn't look me in the eye.
I didn't know whether to hug her or shake her.
If she lacks confidence, how did she build those businesses up?
What she was saying is that she's built a business from nothing
to three million. She doesn't know how to build a business from three million to 30 million
and she thinks that that's an area that you can help her with.
Yeah, that rings my bells,
but I worry about her focusing her attention on our new business.
I decided to just ask her how many businesses had she launched
in the last seven years and she didn't know the answer.
-That's not good.
let's focus on this new thing she's talking about.
I can understand why it could be worthwhile to an electrical contractor
or plumbing contractor...
-..if it is a respected database.
That was my point.
Would I want her with ten researchers or would I want the competition
with 70 or 80 researchers?
I think she is a natural entrepreneur.
I don't think she should be underestimated.
Well, it's been very, very interesting.
-Thank you very much indeed.
Yes, Lord Sugar?
Yes, can you send the five candidates in, please?
Well, first of all,
let me just say that you've done extremely well to get here
and I've got to choose now which two of you are actually going to go
through to the final. Right, Sarah, you have a sweet business.
Yes, that's right.
You make a modest profit at the moment but I want something big.
The website will be big growth.
One of the reasons I'm here is technology has not been my forte at all.
-We need a scalable proper web platform of our own.
It's blatantly obvious to me, really.
I'm finding it quite incredible as to why you haven't had a...
..all-singing-all-dancing website in the past seven years.
I started slow and I wanted to get everything lined up and ready so
that when we do invest in web, it's really big news.
I've noticed in this process that you are incredibly calm but also
-I think what you're saying is, Karren,
she's like the bubble-gum that lost its flavour.
Oh, that's so frustrating to hear.
Are you a bit of a Steady Eddie?
-You know, don't take chances, you know?
-No, absolutely not.
I mean, everything I've done has been building up to this point and
I know that this has the potential to be a global brand and with help,
But it's not without competition and you haven't really got a USP.
Now, Joanna, you want to go into some kind of online fashion business.
-Targeted at businesswomen.
Now, the obvious question is that you have no experience whatsoever in
-So the jobs that I've had before have been mainly with
search engine marketing but I do think that the experience that I've
had there will also be valuable in this business as well.
Sorry, excuse me. You can't just suddenly wake up one Monday morning
and say, "Oh, you know what,
"I'm going to start an online fashion business."
You have no experience of knowing what is trending.
But I think because I'm specifically focusing on workwear,
there's not really much getting it wrong in that sense.
But you've got to have some clue about the quantities that you need
to buy, the after-sales, like when they send them back.
Have you thought of all this stuff?
Yeah. I did come across a company that I could outsource to and they
also have, like, a return service.
They even do like a sniff test, clean it if there's any make-up on it.
I thought that that section was really important, for me to look at
-I mean, the thing is, the fashion industry is notorious,
especially women's fashion, for going bust.
It is a minefield.
I'm... What with being the only person that wanted to develop a business in
something they've never worked in, and if that stopped everybody, then,
you know, some people wouldn't build a business at all.
There's nothing wrong in you having this dream idea to do it,
but I can't go into business with somebody who has no knowledge
of the market at all.
Honestly and sincerely, you're a very intelligent young lady,
there's no question of that, and take this as good advice from me,
go and get a job in that industry.
Learn it inside out and then do what you want to do.
But at this moment in time, Joanna,
I have to say to you that you will not be my business partner
and, regretfully, you're fired.
-Good luck, Joanna.
Thank you. I appreciate it more than you know.
Don't give up your dream.
If you still have the passion for it, go for it.
All right. Thank you very much. Good luck, guys.
Now, on your application, you claimed it to be slightly bonkers.
Well, I think that's been demonstrated, Lord Sugar.
I mean, actually, there's no need to be so modest.
You've got three florist's shops.
-I do, Lord Sugar, yes.
How are you going to scale it up?
-I need to get...
-Because, you know, I'm only interested in big business.
-Although great admiration for you for having three shops,
-and all that.
-If I... If I might interject.
-I would hate to interrupt you, Lord Sugar, but I understand your concern.
-You're learning, Elizabeth!
I've learnt a lot in this process, Karren.
I'm sure you have and I'm pleased for you.
Thank you. If I might explain, we've identified a key market, Lord Sugar,
that we're currently working within and that's the corporate
gifting sector. We've anticipated using salespeople to get into the corporate market,
to get us in front of decision-makers.
Are you saying you expect salespeople
to knock on the door of companies and say,
"When you're thinking of sending a bunch of flowers
"to one of your clients, would you use us, please"?
-There's various different ways...
-Cos I think that would be the last thing on their minds about worrying
-I managed to secure a company that's a national house-builders
that does 17,000 house completions per year.
We also work with pharmaceuticals, we work with large utility companies.
You say, "We work with them and we work with them,"
but the numbers are still relatively small.
And that's why I'm looking to scale it up.
What we need to do is market to these people and we also need to
sample into these companies and get them to use us, and once we've done that,
we feel that they'll come across to us, and once they've come across to us, they're not going to go back.
I suppose it wouldn't be difficult for me to be a silent partner with you.
I wouldn't get a bloody word in edgeways.
Michaela, you want to come up with some kind of database and you expect
trades to pay you a fee,
so that they can look at the latest planning consent for a building.
-Is that right?
-Yeah. Bang on.
But there's already people out there doing that, aren't there?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Two big companies, yeah.
How much do you expect to charge, say a plumber, to be a member?
It would be £4,000 a year and we'll split it monthly as well.
I'm kind of struggling to understand why they would come to your new site.
I'm targeting smaller companies, perhaps,
than who my competitors would target so I think people will come to us
because...mainly because we're cheaper and we're going to be
better, we're going to provide more information than they do.
-Mike said you'd set up all these businesses.
Are you a serial entrepreneur, or are you just bored easily?
No, no, no. I don't know what a serial entrepreneur is.
Well, you're an entrepreneur, young lady, whether you like it or not.
I mean, you've got all these other businesses.
I'm looking for a business partner that's going to be 100%
concentrating on the business that we're going to be in and if they've
got other businesses, they might turn their attention away, and that's my problem I got.
-The new business, I intend to do better. I wouldn't...
-You intend to do better, yeah.
Well, I can't say, you know, I'm going to put my life on it,
that it's going to do better. I'm not a psychic.
I'm saying the potential for this is massive.
My competitors are turning over millions upon millions and all I can
say to you is that my attention isn't needed with these other companies.
-I find that very hard to believe.
Anyway, James, your business idea is recruitment.
Yeah, IT recruitment.
I've taken a look at some of your numbers.
-And I don't know whether you just wet your finger and stuck your
finger in the air and said, "I'll do that."
I know that I've set myself ambitious targets but I've always
been ambitious, and to be honest, it's not like I've just...
Are they ambitious, or are they naive?
Well, to be honest, in my last company,
I was doing 900,000 per year and that was just me, by myself...
-But that was because of you...
-I get that...
-You were James from "the company", right?
When you pick up the phone and say, "Hello, you remember me, don't you?"
-"And now I've got my own company, Joe Soap, on my own,"
they are going to say, "No, we don't deal with little firms."
I mean, I'll give it my absolute all. It is difficult. It is a challenge, because recruitment
is one of the hardest things to get yourself in the door at, but it's,
like, I've done it before, I know I can do it again.
And the reason why I'm looking for a high-profile investor is because
I'll be able to then go in to these high-profile clients...
Yeah, yeah. Well, you know,
they still have these people there that decide that we can't be dealing
with some small-time Charlie.
All right. So I'm going to conclude.
Elizabeth, believe it or not,
I really, really like you as a person.
-I really do. You know, you're a hard worker.
You take on everything.
But my concern is, you know,
there are so many other people in the flower business,
there doesn't seem to be any USP there.
James, your numbers are optimistic.
Very, very optimistic.
Michaela, I can't get my head around your other businesses and that
you'll concentrate on mine.
It's very difficult, because you're all credible people.
Elizabeth, you've got three florist's shops that you make a modest profit,
and the backbone of the economy of this country is made up of people like you.
But, you know, I'm interested in big business and, at this stage,
I can't see the scaling up.
So it is, with regret...
-Thank you, all.
It's been my honour and my pleasure.
-Best of luck.
-Very best of luck to you.
We're down to the last three here.
I need some advice.
I'm going to ask you to step outside and I'm going to have a chat
with Karren and Claude.
Sarah, she's the sort of person that would place an each-way bet
-on a one-horse race.
-Yes, I think you're right.
I do see her differently.
I think perhaps she had to take it steady, couldn't take too many risks,
now she's ready to go.
She's going to grow her business by not taking any risk,
because she's going to take Alan's money and risk it.
And why didn't she have a website?
Her products are made for selling online.
-He's a bit of a rookie.
He's clearly made some rookie mistakes.
His business plan talks about numbers which are crazy in terms of
-It's a fine line between enthusiasm and delusion.
She is a smart cookie.
The main problem is, of course, she'll be 100% with you
and then something will happen with one of her other businesses, and I think that's a real risk.
Well, she had built a business up from nothing to a turnover
of 2.7 million. And if she gets it right,
this could be bigger than all of these other businesses put together.
OK, so look, we'll get them back in and then I'm going to make my mind
up which one of them is going to be leaving.
-Yes, Lord Sugar?
-Could you send the three of them in, please?
Yes, Lord Sugar. Lord Sugar will see you now.
It's difficult for me, genuinely difficult,
cos I have three very good candidates here
but at the end of the day, there's got to be two finalists, OK?
Sarah, why should I choose you as my business partner?
Lord Sugar, it's just obvious that my product has huge scalability
and growth that I don't feel the other two businesses have.
I've got a business that the foundations are there, the graft has
been done and I think it's at the stage that it's ready to fly.
But you haven't done it, and I can't understand that.
Michaela, she's got a business already going.
The seed is there.
And in your case, you're talking about starting something from scratch.
That's even better, it's a fresh start.
It's not something that I've tried at for so long and I'm not doing well at.
I'm into construction, that's where the money is at.
I don't know about sweeties or recruitment,
so if you want another £3 million business, then you know, crack on,
but if you want something better,
then I can earn you some decent cash.
From my side, IT recruitment makes a lot of money and it's like,
I've got the energy and the passion to drive it.
No disrespect to Sarah, it's like...
-I have the energy. Please don't question my energy or my passion, because it's here.
-Not the energy.
It's more the fact that if she wanted to have an e-commerce
website, she could have gone out there and
she could have done it, and I think from Michaela's side, the one thing I can give you is 100% effort into
one business. I've got no other business ventures, this is my one passion.
Spoken like a true salesman.
OK, look, ladies and gentlemen.
Sarah, you've got this business already,
albeit that it's not been exploited to the full, I feel.
And I struggle in understanding that.
The sensitivity I have with you, Michaela,
is that our business could start going a little bit downhill and you
might lose interest because you've got interest in other businesses, you know.
-It's human nature.
-No, I am just a shareholder with them other companies and I'm more than
willing to go into a new business, one that I believe is going to make
-me more money than I've ever dreamt of.
James, you know...
..you haven't been in business before on your own,
and I've got people either side of you that have.
You've got a very, very optimistic business plan.
Your proposition is quite hard for me to...
-I'll make it work.
Yeah, I don't want to hear any more at the moment.
scaling up is an issue.
This lady's talking about big numbers,
which is what I'm interested in.
But having said that...
..Michaela, this business has got to be 100% with me.
I don't want you being defocused somewhere else.
And so whether I'm right or wrong...
..Michaela, you're fired.
-No worries. Thanks very much.
-You're very, very welcome.
It's been emotional.
I wish you the best of luck.
-When we are building our next site,
we'll come onto this website of yours, OK?
Four grand, though! No mates' rates!
Well, congratulations, you two.
You're in the final and I'll see you on the next task...
-..where one of you will become my business partner.
-Off you go.
-Thank you very much.
Wow, we need a drink!
Tonight, I'm going to have a bath of wine and celebrate getting through
Lord Sugar should have invested in me and he's just lost himself £15 million.
Bad business move!
-Oh, my God.
-Oh, my God!
It literally is my proudest moment.
-It's just, unfortunately, you've come up against me in the final.
-Otherwise, I would have rated your chances.
Sugar's going sweet.
Sugar wants a recruitment company.
Let the games begin!
Now just two candidates remain in the fight to become
Lord Sugar's next business partner.
You're going to have to present your business to over 200 people.
-But I've got to ring the doorbell, man!
Give over, Siobhan! You're being annoying.
-James is going to love you for this.
We want to be First Tier, we want to be the best.
We want to stand out from the rest.
You have some samples on your table that I'd love you to have a look at.
It is tough - very, very tough.
The final five candidates are summoned to Lord Sugar's newly refurbished offices in the City, where they are joined by some of Lord Sugar's closest associates, who are ready to put the candidates through their paces in the toughest of interviews. Each candidate goes head to head with a business heavyweight and attempts to prove their worth in the fight of their lives.