For the final head to head, the finalists have to bring their business plans to life by creating ad campaigns and pitching to industry experts.
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Good evening and welcome to a two-hour whopper Apprentice Final special.
Like an Agatha Christie mystery, 18 have now somehow become just two,
and it's time for the final showdown.
So, join me here on You're Hired in an hour's time
to hear first-hand from all the candidates,
plus The Apprentice dream team will be here.
Yes, Karren, Claude and Lord Sugar
will all be joining me in the studio.
But first, switch off the phone, put the dog on silent, sit back
and enjoy James versus Sarah in the final of The Apprentice 2017.
11 weeks ago...
This is not a holiday camp.
This is a business proposition from heaven.
..Lord Sugar began his search for a brand-new business partner.
We've got Brexit, but in this process, I'm the one
who decides who's going to remain and who's going to leave.
Get out of the way!
No, I would like to finish my point because you are interrupting.
Boring, boring, boring. There was no bloody strategy.
..took on testing tasks.
-I'm not having an argument.
-Please just keep positive.
-Your behaviour is ridiculous.
-Can we all just stop talking for a minute?
This is a bloody shambles.
Now, for two candidates...
..the final hurdle.
It is tough - very, very tough.
-I'd like you to hand over your business plans now.
Don't be sick.
Candidates were critiqued.
This makes you look like a rank amateur.
You don't know how much you don't know, cos you don't know.
-So, this is a unique product?
Here's one of your competitors.
Here's another one of your competitors.
6 million, 9 million. That's absolutely ridiculous.
With all respect...
I don't think you're being very respectful.
I think you should take your tone down.
In the boardroom...
At the end of the day, there's got to be two finalists.
-Joanna's fashion business...
-You have no experience whatsoever.
-Joanna, you're fired.
-I can't see the scaling up.
-..was weeded out.
And Michaela's construction dreams...
-You've got all these businesses.
-..came tumbling down.
And so whether I'm right or wrong, you're fired.
Now Sarah and James will go head-to-head.
It literally is my proudest moment.
It's just, unfortunately, you've come up against me in the final.
Who will win Lord Sugar's investment?
'Lord Sugar would like you to meet him at the Sky Garden.
'The cars will be leaving in 20 minutes.'
For the finalists...
Sky Garden, 20 minutes.
..one last task.
'I have come here to win this.
'I've got the full expectation to walk away with £250,000,
'I'm not going to drop at the final hurdle.'
'It would be an incredible feeling to have Lord Sugar as a business partner.
'I just need to be clear on my passion and my drive.
'Failure is most definitely not an option.'
Overlooking London's financial district.
Location for Lord Sugar's final showdown.
-Good morning, Lord Sugar.
Well, congratulations again for making it into the final.
Now, here we are in 20 Fenchurch Street.
Now, in this building are some massive companies,
and my objective is to make one of you
a very, very successful company with my £250,000 investment.
Now, in order for me to choose which one of you is going to
be my business partner, you're going to have to present your business
ideas to an audience of over 200 experts over there in City Hall.
To do that, I'm going to give you some assistants.
Now, let me get my coin out, here.
-Ladies before gentleman.
-Tails please, Lord Sugar.
It's heads, I'm afraid.
So, James, pick one of these people as your first assistant.
-Charles, come over here.
-Thank you, well done.
-Michaela, please, Lord Sugar.
Harrison, please, Lord Sugar.
Andrew please, Lord Sugar.
Siobhan, go and join Sarah.
Now, Sarah, you've got a product.
You already run a sweets gifting business.
But I need convincing that you can grow your
new business into a giant brand.
James, you don't have a physical product, you have a service.
But IT recruitment is a very crowded market.
So, you need to prove to me that your new business can stand out.
-Yes, Lord Sugar.
-Yes, Lord Sugar.
Good luck, I'll see you over in the Mayor's office in a couple of days' time.
Off you go.
Two days to prove plans can become profitable partnerships.
-Well done, Sarah, for getting to the final.
-Thank you, it's great to have you back.
-I'm so happy.
-You've done amazing. I said I couldn't have gone out
to two better people, but mainly you. Mainly you.
Just a great lad. Great lad.
Glad to have you back, both of you.
-Life without you's been tough, man.
-Mate, it's been so tough.
-It's been a train wreck, to be honest.
-Do you two need some space?
Base for James's team, design agency Rufus Leonard.
I'm looking to relaunch my IT recruitment business.
First job, inspire his team.
It's a huge market, but it's also the most competitive market.
And I think what Lord Sugar is looking for is for me
to show how this business can stand out, and differentiate itself.
-Next, James's new company...
-I liked Connect.
-..needs a standout name.
I was looking at using IT as, like, "it".
Something like Recruit It.
-So, Recruit IT.
-Merge them together and connect it.
The only thing I would say, do you know when you put it all together,
and then look at that, you've got like "tit".
-I just don't...
I have 100% got the right team behind me.
Not only do these guys buy into me and they want me to win,
everybody comes with positive energy.
I think we're going to smash it.
I've got a business that is a confectionery repacking business.
..sweetening up her team, Sarah.
I'm sure you'll all identify with a lot of the product in this jar.
If I talk to you about flowers or chocolates,
there's probably a brand in your mind that you would
go onto their website and purchase flowers or chocolates from.
-There's none that I go on, no...
-Nobody is doing it in sweets, and that's what we want to be,
and that's how big we want to be.
I love them, I think they look great, I really do.
Next job, concoct a tasteful new brand name.
My initial ideas are things like City Sweets, The Sweet Boutique.
So, any ideas you've got, I'll write those on the board.
-It's just kind of thinking of... Of a word.
What about your surname in it? Like Lynn's...Sweets.
What Sarah really needs to create is a brand that is stylish,
identifiable, and has global appeal.
But she's chosen a team that is completely devoid of any kind of creativity. That's not a good start.
I need to split the team, and I need somebody...
I want to stay on branding, because obviously that's core.
Michaela, I'd like you to direct and lead on the ad team side.
And I'd like Siobhan and Andrew to support you.
I really don't want it to be trashy, novelty, tacky, cringey.
-No, no. No, no.
-Are you happy with that?
-Yeah, yeah. Yeah, of course.
-Are you happy?
-Assigning roles for his team...
-I'm going to put myself in branding.
Cos I need to make sure I get the right brand, the right logo, the right strapline.
Now, I need to have someone with me.
I was leaning towards you, Joanna, unless you were thinking otherwise.
I'm not the best at coming up with actual, like,
names itself, but, yeah.
-That would leave you three to do the digital billboards.
-Elizabeth, I love you and I want you to be my sub team lead.
Cos I know you will lead the two from the front.
But what I will say is, just hear them, right?
Anisa is very creative, so I know she's going to come with some good ideas.
And please take into account this is MY baby, this is MY business, right?
I NEED this to work.
James has made Elisabeth sub team leader, but that's risky.
Lord Sugar needs to be convinced that James's business has a USP.
But with Elizabeth in charge, other people's ideas could get railroaded.
Right, see you later.
Half of each team set off
to create a billboard advert for the businesses.
You could have Siobhan, like, on her knees
and the sweets, like, exploding onto her.
-Yes, throwing them up.
-An explosion, like a spring.
-So they all shoot up.
So they all go out in different directions.
Back at the agency...
So I quite like Link Us.
-Still on the hunt for a name...
-What ones did you add?
It was more with the word network. So, maybe like the net...
-Hmm, might be too much.
-God, this name thing is like...
Oh, my God! I hate this.
Branding is the most stressful thing I've ever done.
Hands down. Do I like branding? No!
Outdoor advertising company Exterion.
Realistically, Charles, I think you would be very good in this
because you look pretty corporate.
Priority for James's billboard ad - stand out from the crowd.
We've got some props, and we need really to be selecting things
-that relate to an IT industry.
-You could be like an IT ninja.
The campaign needs to stand out, we can't be too boring, either.
-It is NOT a pantomime.
-But we have to stand out.
But we need to be credible.
-What says credible more than a guy in a suit...
-King Charles! I bow to you!
-How we looking? How we looking?
This campaign isn't about being serious, you're not going to stand out by being serious.
Elizabeth really needs to lighten up and just get on board with it, cos it's driving us all nuts.
-You could be a lobster.
-Why does he have to be a lobster?
The more random, you are going to stand out.
OK, let's put it this way, James is trying to launch
his business model in the Mayor's office in London.
Do you think he will be impressed?
Yes, potentially, because he will stand out.
-OK, Charles, leave it on, let's get a photo.
-OK, fine, fine, fine.
Lovely, it'll look great. You're not just a boring IT consultant,
you're, like, standing out.
OK, right, I think that's enough of you dressed up like that.
At their design agency Tapestry...
It might be quite nice to use my name,
and having Sarah's in really small letters.
..chewing over names, Sarah.
Was there anything else you thought through?
Just having the word sweet in it.
I did also think Chic Sweets, or we can go with Sarah's Chic Sweets
-if we want to add my name into it.
OK, so I think really we have
-Sarah's Chic Sweets at the moment.
-I think so.
I'm definitely feeling the pressure today.
I would have liked more time,
would have liked to have thought it all through more.
And thinking about the tasks that we've gone through,
it would've been great to have one of the more creative people on board with me.
It's not terrible at all.
With the name in front of it, I don't think it sounds that bad.
So we've got Sarah's Chic Sweets,
and then the strapline is "saying it with sweets."
I mean, there's a lot of "sweets" in there.
I don't think it looks too bad at all.
Tasked with creating a stylish billboard...
I've potentially got an idea which might work, OK?
..Michaela, Andrew and Siobhan.
We could have raining sweets on me,
and Andrew could be my boyfriend and he could be protecting me.
Why don't we just have a sweetie man with an umbrella,
because it's red, red... It looks good.
Yeah, and you could actually shield me... That's better.
But how can preventing sweeties falling on your head
be related to this product?
Do you understand what I mean?
-How is any of it?
-She's just going to go mad.
-Yeah, but she can't, because it's...
-Rather than talk about it,
just have a look how it looks.
We'd have to do it on our knees, obviously.
I just don't know about the brolly,
as if that's going to... If that's like...
Fucking hell! We've got no time.
Michaela's been a little bit more stressed and uptight, which hasn't
helped the situation, cos she's been a bit snappy with me and Andrew.
But final decisions are on her, I suppose.
-Right, am I throwing these now?
We're going to have to pick all these up!
PHONE LINE RINGS
Back at base...
-Hey, how you doing?
..still stuck for words, James.
We're lacking a bit of inspiration on names.
What about something like First Tier Recruitment.
First Tier Recruitment. Whose idea is that?
-'I've just scribbled it down on a piece of paper as I've said it to you now.
She's so casual.
Guys, I'll have to wrap this up, so I'll speak to you shortly, all right?
-All right, cheers.
-Bye, James, bye.
Maybe First Tier Talent, rather than recruitment.
Yeah, First Tier Talent, that says what it does.
In order to win Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment,
James needs to prove he can stand out in an already crowded market.
But his brand-name doesn't make clear it's a recruitment business.
It's not a good start.
"First Tier Talent, the champions of IT careers."
And then we've got our brand.
Could we look at the logo and strapline, please?
Getting a first glimpse of James's new logo, Elizabeth.
-First Tier Talent. Lovely.
I think that works really well. I like it. Like it a lot.
Next, complete the billboard ad.
We start with the people, and then "amongst 1.2 million competitors",
that fades in over the top of that.
Then it goes to "how will you stand out?"
and then he fades in underneath it.
-You don't want to have all the things going like...
Just to make it more...? Cos if we're going all out...
I am worried about how James is going to react for the digital
billboard, because I'm doing this for him.
-All right, we've got those two slides.
-Otherwise it doesn't make sense.
James has got a quarter of a million pound investment
and a business partnership on the line,
and part of that rests on my shoulders to deliver for him.
Yes, I'm worried, I want it right.
It's fine, it's fine - Elizabeth, stop stressing. Just relax.
-I'm NOT stressing.
-What I'm saying is that is fine as that is.
We can always have "amongst 1.2 million competitors"
underneath on a second line if we need to.
-She wanted to go classy.
..a first look at Sarah's new logo...
-She's done an amazing job.
..for billboard design team, Siobhan, Andrew and Michaela.
Maybe if we have the backdrop of, you know, a night-time skyline.
It's going to look weird,
someone standing in front of a skyline getting
-stuff poured on them.
-I don't think we want that.
Shall we put the green back on
and then fill it out with the sweets for now,
and then let's just get some things made up and we can come back to it.
Cos she wants it classy and whatnot.
I think with just the road and blue sky.
Can we type in, like, New York streets?
You two, if you tell me what you want, and then I'll communicate it
to you so you're not going to get us... So can you please just
-try and replicate these sweets?
-Take some of the other sweets from the picture.
Siobhan, remember when I said can you tell me and I'll tell him?
Can we please just try and stick to that idea?
Because we're nowhere closer to any sort of billboard, yeah?
I think Sarah would be doing her nut
if she saw what they have actually produced.
They got carried away with some nonsensical idea.
They're meant to be helping her,
but nothing about this screams stylish.
Do you think Sarah's going to like this?
I don't know. Probably not, no.
I think Chic Sweets probably doesn't scream high-end
and I think what we've designed, it doesn't look right.
Sarah's going to think we've done an absolutely shocking job,
and I think one of us is probably going to get a slap tomorrow.
Brands and billboards built,
tomorrow, create video ads,
website and product.
So, guys, I'm really excited to see what you were working on.
-He's stood out cos he's dressed as a lobster, right?
I actually really like it, I think it's good.
..for both finalists.
-You want to see it?
-Let's have a look.
-Let's have a look.
We had some problems with the photo,
it's not really in keeping with the theme.
The image just isn't relevant.
The questions I'm going to get are, "What on earth is that?"
So, um... Yeah.
I'm not happy with the image.
My brief was glamorous, sophisticated.
But it's novelty, and it's what I wanted to steer away from.
So I'll have to deal with that
in the pitch tomorrow. It's a nightmare.
For tomorrow's pitch...
We were thinking of starting it
with a delivery man pressing the doorbell.
Both teams must make a 30-second promotional video.
Lady opens it, looks a bit disappointed,
she's just getting regular bills.
Day two, answers the door, rubbish, delivery of flowers.
Day three, this time she gets this gift of sweets,
it brightens up her day,
and we could have a nice shot of the sweets at the end.
Harrison was instrumental in helping me with this.
I was thinking about switching you onto the TV ad team.
-And swapping out, and maybe Andrew, you coming with me.
Across the hall...
..James outlines his video concept.
Basically, it's going to be a sports theme, so we're having a track race.
Charles, you'll end up sprinting off,
you win the race, and it's because you've gone with the right agency.
-That's really good.
And the voice-over towards the end,
"Get a head start in your IT career with First Tier Talent, the champions of IT careers."
-Mate, so good.
I'm actually going to switch Joanna across, and she can direct it.
-Elizabeth, I want you to come with me today.
How was it yesterday, working with Elizabeth?
-We need to stand out and have fun.
But when you're trying to be creative, she'd be like, "No, we can't do that."
And we kept getting shut down.
Working with a top website hosting company, James.
With no product to present,
he needs to create a stand-out website for his pitch.
What do you want to tell people that you are about? Just one sentence.
Find your dream job, or find your perfect job.
Right, "first tier job roles available here."
Cos you're First Tier, and then you're Talent.
We want to stay on brand. You've got the term talent,
so "Submit your CV, show us your talents."
James doesn't have a product, he has a service.
So, the website is absolutely crucial to his whole presentation.
Just... Just one second.
But Elizabeth can't help but get involved in everything.
So something, like, a bit quirky, so, like, top tips are...
Help us to champion your talent.
-Help us to campaign your talent.
-Yeah, I do like it.
Write something like that in.
He's looking for a £250,000 investment,
but he's listening too much to Elizabeth and he's getting
pushed back further and further from HIS ideas and HIS direction.
Top tips to champion your talent.
-To champion your talents.
A North London sports track...
We're on the same team because we've got the same colour on
and then Charles walks up with the starting blocks
and then we kind of move out of his way and we're like...
..racing to realise James's promo video...
I had a vision of what it's going to look like.
James really represents Charles' character in this video, you know,
he's pacing head and he's definitely going to win the race.
-As soon as I say action, you go.
-I'll shout it. Action!
I AM bossy, but at the end of the day,
James has put me the boss of this team.
Hopefully, we can present him as a really credible brand
so that he can win the £250,000 investment.
Cut. It's a wrap.
-Well done, guys. You were great.
First Tier Talent's video...
Come on, guys.
-We need to edit it now, don't we?
Lord Sugar's concern with the business is just how scalable it is.
I want to show him that there's so many avenues we can take.
..aiming to create a brand-new product
in time for tomorrow's pitch - Sarah.
What I'm trying to achieve is a gifting box
that will go through the post,
have different sweeties in and a nice personalised message.
Would you buy a card with sweets in?
I'm a bit tight, when it comes to stuff like that, so...
I'm probably the wrong person to ask!
So, what we want to create with the prototype is a card,
you lift the flap and you've got four sets of products that all
fits into the postbox, so almost in the way you would send a card
and then in a scribbly font, like a more handwritten font,
we're going to have sweet
and then underneath, we're going to have the logo. I am such a pro.
-Are you 100% happy with that name?
-No. I don't...
I'm not happy with it.
You're wanting to go for high-end...
It's just too much of a mouthful,
I'm just really uncomfortable with it
and I would really like to make it better and to change it up.
It wasn't really a case of when I woke this morning,
it was a case of not sleeping all night,
worrying about how bad it was.
I'm feeling stressed out,
Lord Sugar was looking for a brand that had growth and scalability
and Sarah's Chic Sweets just doesn't do it.
I want it to be more global in feel and reach
-and I want it to have just more impact.
So I was thinking about things like Stylish Sweets,
Sweet Stop, I also thought of Sweeteze.
Cos it is the ease of doing it, isn't it?
It's punchy, it's one word, it's not such a mouthful.
-I think that looks a lot better.
-I'm much happier with it.
Much happier with this.
Back at the house...
All right, so the postman's going to be coming, delivering bills,
he's going to come again with some flowers
and again her being a bit disappointed.
..directing Sarah's Chic Sweets video, Michaela.
And then a third shot where he's bringing sweets
and be, like, buzzing with it, yeah?
Yeah, the pressure's really on after yesterday
and the terrible photoshoot, like, I need to try and make it up to her.
-What's this shi...?
-Siobhan, are you taking the piss?!
-Give it here, Siobhan!
-Give him the flowers. Siobhan!
-You can't just do that.
-Right, I'll do it properly now.
-Do it properly.
-Can I shut the door? Right.
Siobhan's just doing my head in because she's really loud,
she just does random things that don't make sense,
she doesn't listen.
-Are you kidding me? Sending me this crap.
She thinks it's funny, but, um...it's not.
-No! I've got to ring the doorbell, man!
-Give over, Siobhan.
You're being annoying.
Ah, look at that.
For Sarah, sweet gift card prototype...
High-end, glamorous gifting.
So let's give the subteam a quick call,
update them on the logo change, so they can make it sure it
-sits across the TV advert and anything else they can change.
-And then we'll crack on.
-Hi, Michaela. It's Sarah. I've changed the name and the logo.
I really wasn't happy with it.
Had another look at it today, so I've changed it
and I need that to be changed on the TV advert, please.
Are you definitely sure?
You're not having one of those Simon moments I had, are you?
I'm absolutely sure. Basically, I've changed the name to Sweeteze.
It talks about the gifting concept, sending sweets with ease, OK?
-See you later.
-Call me if you need me. Bye.
I feel a bit nervous for her. I wonder why she's changed her mind.
I know, I'm interested to know.
-Just go 30 seconds from there to the end.
-Is that 30 seconds?
Yes, that's fine.
..both teams edit their 30-second videos.
Cut everything before it for now.
I actually prefer it without the post and the flowers.
I think that looks so much better.
Across the hall...
I'm really happy with that, guys, I think
we've hit the brief that James gave us.
..for First Tier Talent's advert, deadline looms.
Yeah, the storyboard is coming to life within this...
Where is your storyboard?
Oh, good point, actually.
The storyboard is back at the track.
Doesn't that have James's...
Oh, yes, his voice-over...
..his voice-over and everything he does.
I think I remember what the last thing was,
so it's First Tier Recruit... First Tier Talent,
sorry, the champions of IT recruitment.
-Let's just record it.
-Let's record it.
-We've got ten minutes.
-Just record it and then we can do it.
-Record it, please.
James spent a lot of time and energy working on a storyboard,
writing out exactly what he wants the voice-over to say.
The champions of IT recruitment.
But they left the storyboard at the track. I mean, what a mistake.
Joanna's subteam leader, it's her responsibility.
She should have thought about it and she didn't.
-The champions of IT recruitment.
The champions of IT recruitment.
We said recruitment, it's careers.
-Can we quickly redo that?
I didn't even notice that.
DOOR ENTRY BUZZES
..for each finalist...
-Hi, Sarah. How are you?
-Hello. Oh, my goodness.
-Oh, hello, Ricky, how are you doing?
..a pre-pitch pep talk from the former winners
of Lord Sugar's investment.
-In simple terms, what is it?
-It's an IT recruitment business.
..recruitment firm owner Ricky Martin.
It's what I've been doing, it's what I know.
And then I will essentially have recruiters that are assigned
-to each specific skill set.
-Let's consider your pitch,
you're going to have experts in that pitch who know recruitment.
-Bet you bottom dollar, there'll probably be an IT person.
And they'll say, "We're a specialist, we do these functions,"
Lord Sugar will need more. There HAS to be something else.
I have got, like, a specialism that I'm focusing on. Cyber security.
OK, what's the bigger picture of cyber security?
You keep businesses safe, you're protecting data, right?
-Which is massive.
-And can that data cause problems for people
-if it gets into the wrong hands?
-Well, yeah, yeah, yeah.
-That's the thing.
Meeting Ricky was really helpful.
I feel like I'd kind of got a bit distracted
with everything that was going on, with the branding, the advert,
and I was probably going to focus too much on that,
but, at the end of the day, this is about why am I different,
so I need to focus more on cyber security.
That's what he told me, so, yeah, I'm going to take that away.
Is there anything that you included in your pitch that
you felt was a real win?
..bakery business owner Alana Spencer.
Lord Sugar wants to know how you're going to scale a business up,
so delivering that with real passion.
For me, that's been one of the criticisms is that getting across
that energy and passion, because I focus so much
and I'm so keen to say what I need to say that sometimes I think
that can get a bit lost, so I'll try and really put some passion into it.
Just don't doubt yourself, because you've got to this point
because people think you're good.
My driving factors in life are to be successful
and to provide for my family.
Oh, God, I'm going to get upset.
I don't want to get upset.
It's about just doing my best and being the best I can be
and I know that we haven't touched the sides
of the potential of the business
and it excites me and drives me to want to create that change
and do something really epic
and for my son to be proud of me.
The big day has finally arrived.
..a special delivery...
Have a look, see what you think.
..of her new card-gifting concept.
Do you like this? And then you can personalise with a photo,
you can have your message inside.
You obviously pick your sweets if you want to.
And this is obviously postage size, so it goes straight in the post,
-it doesn't have to be couriered or anything.
-It's so good.
Honestly, Sarah, that looks high-end.
One thing to note is, we did alter the voice-over...
..First Tier Talent, the video ad.
Get a head start on your career with First Tier Talent,
-the champions of IT recruitment.
Guys, you've done a really, really good job.
Honestly, I really love it.
I think it'll come across really well in the pitch.
So, I need to decide on the team split for today.
There's just a reference that you might want to bear in mind.
Charles is in a lobster suit, lobsters mate for life,
so that nods to the fact that
you're about long-term relationships with your clients and candidates.
OK. On the pitch side, Joanna, I want you with me.
We're going to stay here, we're going to do the pitch prep,
we're going to do the presentation
and then you three guys are going to be out getting your feedback
for the digital billboards, which will be really helpful in my pitch.
-So, we'll watch the advert.
We couldn't do what you wanted, we cut out the first two scenes
and just had the delivery of the box and the sweeties.
Sweeteze - leading the way in confectionery gifting.
Actually, it's just nice that you spent a few seconds on that opening
and the whole concept of the reveal.
So, thank you. Michaela, if you wouldn't mind helping me
with the pitch for an hour or so.
Andrew, Harrison and Siobhan,
if you wouldn't mind doing my consumer testing for me.
I got criticised on previous pitches for not listening
to the negatives, so I definitely need some negative feedback.
-Is that OK?
So have a good day, guys, and I'll see you later.
-See you, mate.
Subteams head out to get customer feedback.
-For the finalists...
-When I met with Ricky,
he basically said cyber security was just so important.
He was, like, "Don't be afraid to say that."
..last chance for pitch prep.
So...how are you going to end it?
So I'm going to end with why Lord Sugar should invest in me.
This is an investment in me as a person and I would hope that
I've demonstrated to you in this process what...whatever I am.
How great you are. Yes!
Canary Wharf Station...
-Oh, my God, it looks amazing!
-Look at that.
..time to see if First Tier Talent hits top spot.
-What do you think of the advertisement itself?
-Big and loud.
-If that's the right word.
Does the brand stand out?
It never stood out as a brand to me, frankly.
-What is it advertising?
-I've absolutely no idea.
I'm assuming IT.
Like, is it a brand,
or is it, like, just a statement?
I don't know. I'm not sure what it is.
I'll tell you what we've got, we've got
some really useful feedback from a couple of key people
that's going to be very helpful to James in the presentation.
It's mixed, but that's natural and it's subjective as well.
-I think let's go tell him.
-Yeah, fantastic. Let's go.
Obviously, I've never done a pitch to this extent
and I would definitely swerve it, given the opportunity.
For the finalists...
Oh, my God.
I now know what nerves feels like.
-You're good at selling...
-..and it's a pitch.
-To 250 people.
-Don't forget to smile through it.
-Yeah, I will.
-I've done a pageant before and it really makes a difference.
Also at Canary Wharf...
-I know. That's what...
-There we are, Siobhan.
..serving up Sweeteze.
-If somebody sent you this, would you like it?
-Yeah, I would, actually.
I actually quite like that package.
-What do you think of the billboard?
-Yeah, it's OK.
I wouldn't look at it and think, "Oh, wow, I've got to buy that."
I just think there's too much going on. It's, like, too...busy.
I'm guessing you straightaway know the brand - what's in it? Sweets.
-Do you think high-end sweets or low-end sweets?
-I just think pick and mix.
-I don't know what you're doing.
-I don't know what it is.
-Awful feedback from the billboard. I think...
I think when we relay it to Sarah, I do think
-we need to keep it positive.
She must be stressing.
The last thing we want to do is add to that.
I think we need to put her at ease -
to say that everyone loved the product.
She did say that she did want to know if there was any negatives.
So, Harrison... So maybe leave that in Harrison's hands.
Three hours till the finalists pitch their businesses to Lord Sugar.
..and 20 industry experts.
This definitely makes it real.
It's your last chance to prove yourself, knowing it.
-Bring it on, bring it on. Let's get it done.
-I'm excited for you.
Oh, my days. It's a big, big walk in.
Hello and welcome.
I'll be fine. Yep, yeah, yeah.
I'll be fine.
..a chance to filter through the feedback.
-Tell me how the consumer research went.
-Good, really good.
They all know it was to do with sweets,
that's obviously a great start.
So what were the negatives?
-Erm, to be fair, about your actual boxing, nothing.
-People loved it.
I wish you were there to actually hear it first hand.
Genuinely, every single person we spoke to,
when we showed them the box, they were like,
"Wow, this is really good. I haven't seen it before,"
-everyone loves what you're doing, everyone would buy it.
So when they watched it,
did they know it was an IT recruitment company?
No, people want a real in-your-face, this-is-what-it's-about advert.
-It's not - "We're an IT recruitment company!"
-That's the honest feedback, James.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So even when they saw the brand which said IT careers,
-they still were unsure?
-We've got - does the brand stand out?
-We've got 40% of people say yes.
So you need to know that when you go forward,
your advertising has to be even more stand out.
What I think you're getting carried away with,
you're trying to stand out completely.
-What we're trying to do is
stand out from a very boring, mundane competition.
-That's basically what I was looking for.
Maybe I should have said that.
..doors open to some of the biggest names in British business,
including experts from the worlds of confectionery and recruitment.
Introducing Sweeteze -
I'm ready to drive huge profit and growth for Lord Sugar
and make this brand a global success.
HE SIGHS HEAVILY
First to pitch...
Course I'm nervous.
I'm filled with utter dread, but I'm within arm's reach of winning
a quarter of a million pounds' investment.
It would just be a life-changing moment
and I just have to show Lord Sugar that I'm the person to invest in.
Hi, everybody. God, that was a walk.
I'm really proud to present to you
my business proposal to Lord Sugar.
If I was to ask anybody in this room what brand you would associate
with sending flowers online, I'm sure a brand instantly comes
to all of your minds, but if I was to ask you what brand you would
go to to send beautifully packaged, amazing confectionery gifts online,
I'm sure not any of you could answer me.
You're going to be able to hop online,
see a range of beautifully packaged, unique sweet gifts
that you can personalise with photos, messages,
quite literally, sweetening their day.
Before I talk any further about the brand,
my team have created some billboards for me to show you.
And they've created something that shows you what we can achieve -
retro candies, saying it with sweets, creating memories.
The whole concept of Sweeteze is about sending a smile in a jar.
They also created a television advert that I hope communicates
the concept of the brand a little bit more for you.
Sweeteze - leading the way in confectionery gifting.
So what are the USPs about Sweeteze?
It's all about the quirky gift messaging that sits
alongside the sweets. It's the way that they're packaged.
You have some samples on your table that I'd love you to have a look at.
And they basically demonstrate how personalised sweets can be.
The team did some consumer testing this morning
and they took out the boxes that were on your desk
and 100% of people said they would like to receive this box.
Not one person said they wouldn't.
And I really feel with Sweeteze, when we've captured the UK market,
we have an international focus.
People could send and receive sweets anywhere throughout the world.
So, on that note, I'd like to say thank you
and open the floor to questions.
So, my name is Lisa May, I'm the head of marketing
in Nestle confectionery.
What's your ambition for the size of this business?
Is it potentially just a niche idea?
The market is huge
and it's not being captured by any single confectionery company.
It needs a leader in its field
and it needs somewhere that everybody in this audience sits
and thinks, "If I want to send sweets, I will go to Sweeteze."
Why would they go to your company just for sweets
when they could go to the companies that you've
referred to in your pitch for existing chocolate ranges,
for flowers, for champagne and the like and indeed,
if they care to, sweets also?
I mean, it's ridiculous how many people are searching
for sweets for Dad, sweets for Mum,
and there's nobody that comes up at the top of those search rankings.
That's where Sweeteze should be sitting.
Thank you so much for listening to my pitch
and for asking me questions.
Lord Sugar, I hope I've demonstrated that
I would be a fantastic business partner for you.
I'm very passionate, I'm very driven
and I will make this business a success.
Honestly, I can't thank you all enough. It felt amazing.
I was trying to get across that passion.
It was so good, like, honestly, amazing.
For Lord Sugar...
What did you think of Sarah's business idea?
Personalisation is absolutely here and now.
She's right. There is no-one doing this
particularly well within the industry.
I'm concerned about the scalability of this.
It's possible to scale. If she created a brand
that actually becomes more of an aspirational item,
it becomes more of a lifestyle item.
It's easy to acquire one customer,
but unless she gets that six or seven time repeat purchase,
the business model just doesn't scale.
Next to take the floor...
Sales is my thing, sales is my business
and today, ultimately in this pitch,
I've got to sell myself.
If I can't sell my own business, then I don't deserve the investment,
so I'm going to go in there and I'm just going to own it.
Hello. I'm here to unveil my new IT recruitment business
First Tier Talent.
Now, the name comes from about that we want to be first tier.
We want to be the best, we want to stand out from the rest.
We are the champions of the IT careers.
So, our unique selling point is the specialisms that we have.
We're carving out a niche within IT, and I think you would all
agree that cybersecurity is one of the biggest problems
that we currently face -
companies being targeted, data getting hacked -
and what we're actually doing is providing a solution,
because we're providing the best quality people to these companies.
There. You might be wondering, why is there a guy in a lobster costume?
So, the idea behind this is about standing out.
The lobster has a lifelong partner, and from our business, we want
to be a partner with both our clients and our candidates for life.
The next thing I've got to show you is actually an advert
that we've put together.
It's a little bit different, but I hope that you enjoy it. Let's...
MUSIC: Chariots Of Fire by Vangelis
Get a head start on your career with First Tier Talent,
the champions of IT recruitment.
Look, the idea behind this is that we wanted a whole
message of standing out and being different,
and when you're in a highly competitive market,
it is about standing out and being remembered,
and I saw you all had a little bit of a laugh,
so hopefully you'll remember that advert.
A key part of the recruitment business would be a website.
If you as a candidate come to our website, the things that you would
look for is your jobs available, submit your CV, and build your CV.
That's the, kind of, one-stop shop for me -
the three things that they would look for.
I think that's... Let me open up to some questions.
OK. I'm Neeta Patel.
I run a foundation that develops young entrepreneurs.
This is the sixth pitch I've seen this week
-for a recruitment agency...
..and each one says, "I'm going to be unique in a different way."
-How are you going to be different?
I think the differentiating factor is you're coming to someone
who's an expert in that little field.
We'd go in and say, "Look, we've got the best cybersecurity
"consultants on the market,"
and then starting the relationship that way.
Nine out of ten start-ups actually fail.
-They don't make the end of their first year.
What's going to make you different?
What's going to make me different is me.
I've been... I started off in a company from absolutely nothing,
and I went from zero to the top-biller
in the space of two years.
That's unheard of. I had the highest contract business around.
I broke into the biggest clients.
It's my ambition, my drive, my background...
Everything that this business would be a success is from me.
Yeah, I'll just give it my all. That's why I...
That's why we won't fail.
And, Lord Sugar, what I would like to say to you is,
you made a point to me the other day about rookie mistakes,
but I'll be the first to hold my hand up to that,
and say that once I've made them, I won't make them again.
Well, thank you, everyone, for listening today.
I will make this a success. Thank you. Bye.
-Well done, sir. Well done.
I was so nervous, but as soon as I actually got through that door
and stood on the balcony, I was like, "Yeah."
I was like, "I'm ready. I'm ready for this."
Can he stand out in the industry?
Well, it's highly competitive. He needs to be very, very focused.
-If he came in to me tomorrow, I'd give him some business.
He's not going to struggle from an employer side.
Where he might struggle is with the key people.
-There's a massive skills shortage in that area.
And he's going into a very competitive market -
-it's a very well-defended hill.
-How is he going to make sure that he gets to the top of it?
I feel that me and Lord Sugar are made to be in business with
each other, and it would mean the absolute world to actually come away
with Lord Sugar saying, "You know what, James?
"I'm going into business with you."
I really hope I showed my passion today. I really tried.
There's 250,000 on the line, and I'm very confident
that my pitch will have convinced Lord Sugar to invest in me.
I mean, it's substance over style.
Tonight, there's no more the candidates can do.
Tomorrow, the final boardroom.
You can go into the boardroom now.
Well, here we are in the 12th week.
Welcome back to some of our past candidates.
Sarah and James have made it to the final,
and it is my very tough decision in the next few hours to decide
which one of them is going to be my business partner.
I'll start with Sarah.
-Now, that was your pick and mix, this lot here. Is that right?
Willy Wonka and the Oompa Loompas. Yeah?
I hope that's not the tan.
-It is a bit orange.
-Anyway, you've ended up with allsorts, that's for sure.
Right, now, I understand from Claude that the branding side was
yourself and Harrison, is that right?
Yes, that's right.
-And we had problems with the name.
The name that we picked in the end was Chic Sweets.
So it was "Chic Sweets - saying it with sweets".
-It was awful. Yeah.
-Sounds like, "She sells...seashells..."
Yeah, tongue twister.
So it's "Chic Sweets - saying it with sweets",
and that's what you, kind of, went to bed with on the first night.
-Well, I didn't go to bed.
I didn't sleep all night because of it, but, yes, it was awful.
Right, so the others, what were you doing?
Michaela was my subteam leader,
and the guys went off to do a billboard campaign.
-The billboard campaign?
The theory was better than what it came out like. Erm...
You look like Dick Van Dyke and Mary Poppins, there, the pair of you.
-Not in a good way.
Oh, sorry. I thought it was a compliment.
So, Sarah, what did you feel when you saw this, then?
I was really disappointed with the image, because it had no relevance.
We tried to make it fun.
Maybe we let her down.
Day two, Chic Sweets - you changed it.
Yeah, so, on day two, I changed the teams up a little bit,
and Andrew and I decided to make a very quick change
within half an hour.
So you've gone from Chic Sweets to Sweeteze.
I wanted it to have a global feel.
I wanted it to be able to be scalable,
-sort of artisan, home-made...
I think it's good, actually,
but I'll tell you what I also think is good...
You weren't happy with this, and you got up the next morning
and you said, "I'm going to change it,"
-and that's what you did.
And I quite like the name. Erm...
Shall we talk about the box which you produced?
Yes, so Andrew and I went off to create something to show you
the sort of ideas that I have, and one of those was the sweet card.
Yeah, it was plain white packaging...
like a delivery from Ann Summers, actually. Very discreet.
-How do you know that?
-That comes in brown paper...
-I heard. You... You... You told me.
You told me. Erm...
-And then we got the TV advert.
One of the adverts that sticks out in my mind for confectionery
was the Milk Tray advert where the guy flies in on a helicopter,
jumps in the window and presents the lady with Milk Tray.
We just didn't have that budget, though, I mean...
You've got some bloke with an old shoebox
who dumped it down on the table, and that was it.
I was happy with the TV ad. Simple, but effective.
OK. Was you all surprised that Sarah was going to end up
in the final, you people?
-Not one bit.
-Not one bit?
-She was number one from day one.
-What did you hang around for, then?
-I just thought... I just...
I just thought I'd try and be a bit of an inconvenience.
You obviously know the depth of her business.
You rate it?
-Yeah, I'd buy it all.
With this consumer research, not one person could name a household name
that does it in sweets, so...
And everybody said that they'd buy the product.
And they'd like to receive it.
All right, erm...
Let's move on to James, then.
Now, I heard you got into a bit of a flap with your brand name.
Yeah. It took a while to get a name.
-"First Tier Talent".
-And "First Tier" kind of sounds as if it's...
and I have no idea that this is an IT recruiting site.
And then we go on to dress
Charles up as a lobster. Is that right?
Lobsters mate for life, Lord Sugar.
But looking at that, I think you'd be the last one in the tank
in the restaurant, Charles, to be honest with you.
Yeah. Well, then you went on to make the television advert.
-We decided to go with the sporting track.
I got your advert a little bit more than I got their advert.
There was a mistake in the voice-over, where you said
"champions of IT recruitment" as opposed to "IT careers",
because you left James' storyboard at the track.
And the problem was the lack of correlation between the poster
and the television advert.
Erm, now, who developed the website?
Myself and Elizabeth.
-And you went for orange...
-So you're the easyJet of IT recruitment.
So, look, you've had a lot more understanding about what
his business idea is for the future. How do you see it?
He's got some fantastic ideas and his market is huge.
Do you think he's a justified winner of this process?
Personally, Lord Sugar, I think you've got the two best people
in front of you, but James is our boy.
Well, listen, ladies and gentlemen,
thank you very much indeed
for coming back and assisting the two finalists.
It's been nice working with you.
I've now got to get on and talk to these two people alone,
so...thanks a lot.
-Thanks very much.
-Cheers. See you later.
-Thank you so much.
-See you later. Thanks, guys.
-Thank you. Thanks.
-See you, mate. See you. See you.
-Thank you. Thanks.
-See you, Charles.
-Good luck, Sarah.
OK, well, you are giving me a very big headache,
I've got to tell you,
because you are both very, very credible candidates,
so I'm going to go for more of a deep dive discussion with you now,
because I do have a...
a very, very difficult position.
Now, Sarah, you want to become the equivalent of
the famous flower company in sweets.
My question to you is, who cares?
People, when they're thinking of a gift,
I don't think they wake up thinking,
"Oh, I'll send sweets."
They go to a gifting website and,
"Oh, that looks nice. I'll send them."
The demand is there.
People do search for sweet gifts, sweet baskets...
They are searching for these things and there's nothing coming up.
Nobody is nailing that market. Nobody's leading in it,
and that's why I think there's huge potential to be that brand.
Fair enough, but, you know, with respect, Sarah, I don't know of any
company selling a product that don't have a proper e-commerce website.
I really don't.
We haven't spent lots of investment,
mainly because of lack of expertise
in how to scale the website up,
and it's so important that that is right,
because otherwise, you know, people come on and it won't deliver.
So, we've focused on brand awareness,
getting people to know our products, love our products,
and eventually to drive traffic, which is why I'm here now.
But the volume and the... It's limitless.
Right, well, that leads me into a bigger issue.
If you've got tens of thousands of orders,
which may include a customised message
or may even include a picture,
how are you going to process them?
To start with, you could have a label that just gets
-stuck straight in, which is how we operate now.
But with scalability and with growth,
you could have machinery that does that for you on the boxes.
Well, how much is that machinery?
-I don't know the exact cost of the machinery at the moment.
ALAN TAKES A DEEP BREATH
Well, erm, let's talk to you, James, now, shall we?
So, just walk me through it.
-You'd go in to see the IT manager.
And you'd say to him, "Look, I can provide you this,
"I can provide you that, blah-blah-blah..."
I'd usually ask them what they need,
cos if they're willing to meet me, they're obviously having a problem.
So... And then what I would do is I'd always use the situations
I've come from, so if I've worked with X retail client,
I'll say, "Look, I know that you're doing similar things.
"This is what I've just done with them.
"I've built their whole team around them.
"I can do this for you as well."
You know this is a very crowded market.
100%, but I hope that you'd probably see, the whole time I've been here,
I'm very charismatic. I think I'm quite endearing...
Well, you might be all right for a drink down the pub,
but the last thing that the world is waiting for
is James White's new recruitment company.
But I go into a client and I own that client.
I become the only person they use, and that's not just by chance.
That's because of the way I go about my business
and the way I can network.
-I looked at your business plan...
..and a lot of your future depends upon
two of these previous customers continuing working with you.
Yeah, 100%. I definitely do want to work with them.
But what makes you think they're going to
deal with a small-time Charlie?
I'm not backing myself just to get these clients.
When I went in and worked at my previous company, I had no clients.
I had to go out there and get them. This business is going to be
built on going out and getting new clients.
-We're not going to put all our eggs in one basket.
-Right, so Sarah's run a business, OK?
She's employed people.
-She deals with their PAYEs.
-She deals with their VAT.
-You haven't done any of this.
So, yeah, I haven't done specifically what Sarah's done,
but even when I was internally employed, I was dealing with
all of these different teams, cos I headed up my team.
I think you'll find the principles of being a manager
are very different to being a business owner.
I really do have a dilemma,
so I'm going to ask you to take a break now,
if you don't mind,
and I'll have a talk with Karren and Claude,
and then we'll come back in,
and one of you will be hired
as my business partner.
It is quite obvious that there are two
fantastically skilled people there.
Sarah is very eloquent.
She knows her business inside out,
although why she hasn't done the commercial website properly,
I don't get.
What SHE needs is that push to take her out of her comfort zone.
With James, the very, very crowded market,
but he has proved that he can do it when he worked for someone.
I don't know. What do you think, Claude?
Well, I think you have got a problem because, as it's turned out,
I think they're both investable.
With Sarah, I think you've got slow and steady, but I think with James
you've got somebody who's going to go out and really go for it.
But James is more risky.
Sarah is an expert in her field.
She's spotted a gap in the market.
She has all the skills an entrepreneur needs.
But, I mean, I don't envy you.
I mean, is it down...? Is it down to this?
It shouldn't be, should it?
The truth is, Alan, in the end,
your gut tells you everything.
All right. Well, let's get them back in,
and we'll see who my business partner is going to be.
-Yes, Lord Sugar.
-Could you send the two of them in, please?
Yes, Lord Sugar.
Lord Sugar will see you now.
It boils down to this -
I've got two very credible people in front of me,
one is a big gamble
and one where the issue is the scaling.
Lord Sugar, this won't just be an investment for you. This...
I will be the most successful Apprentice candidate there has been.
Why will it scale up, Sarah?
Because you've come across as a really steady person.
You don't come across as a risk-taker.
I'm definitely a risk-taker. I've grown that business on my own.
I've got those sales in, £430,000 worth of sales,
whilst working, whilst being a full-time mum, and whilst I've been
here alone in these weeks, we've got new customers coming on board,
and we've got two more lined up that I'm working on at the moment,
and just with those alone, it will mean I hit the numbers that
I've promised you in year one without your investment,
so, with your investment, it's limitless.
If my business was going for seven years,
I would scale it a lot quicker.
My investment will be spent on people,
these people will be earning money from day one. Literally from day...
-From the first month, they'll be earning money.
I'm hungry for this. This is everything that I know.
She's hungry for it also.
Yeah, but I'm the BEST recruitment consultant out there.
I KNOW this industry like the back of my hand.
-The experts yesterday said that their problem is the USP.
-And so you're telling me your USP is the cybersecurity.
How many have you placed in cybersecurity in the past?
-Over 100 consultants.
Yeah, it's the hottest skill demand at the moment within my industry.
I think, Lord Sugar, if I was looking at us as two candidates,
it's the difference between an employee and an entrepreneur.
-I have put...
-An entrepreneur with 400,000 turnover in seven years?
Well, it's 400,000 more than you have, James.
I know this industry.
I've taken my time to take all the steps to make sure...
-But you don't take risks.
-I do take risks.
I make mistakes on my own time, with my own money, so that by the time
I've come to you now, everything is in place to really use this
investment wisely, not make rookie mistakes,
not make naive statements.
There's no USPs in the IT recruitment business.
Everything about it is naive.
Why has your business taken seven years to get £400,000 profit?
It hasn't. I've done multiple things in between. I've learnt my industry.
My business would be there quicker.
-It's a bigger industry.
-I've shadowed good people,
learnt my industry so that now I will make...
-I'd make more money in a quicker time.
-..a huge global brand.
You won't need to hold my hand, Lord Sugar.
I need the investment and some mentoring and some guidance on
where to really hit and what markets,
and then I will do it all on my own,
and this business will be a huge success.
Lord Sugar, the stat is 1.5 million skill shortages by 2020
It's a huge, huge market.
I don't think that you would find a better candidate to front
a company in my industry, an industry that you know works,
that you know is extremely profitable if you get it right.
Well, I've got to say that this year's final
is really, really giving me a dilemma.
a crowded market,
but I've had some experience with a similar person of a similar age,
and who's making a lot, a lot of money.
I don't have any experience of your business, OK?
I'm going to say...
..that I'm a gambler...
..and I've always been a gambler in business.
This particular year...
..I'm going to double my investment.
I'm going to start a business with both of you.
-I won't let you down, Lord Sugar.
It means the world to me.
-You've done tremendously well.
I'll be seeing you both shortly.
-Off you go.
-Well done. Well done, yeah?
Honestly, it was so, so, so close.
I really could not decide, so I have two wonderful business partners.
James picked an industry which is very, very hot at the moment,
and he's probably the man to take it forward.
Sarah spent all of those years building up.
Now you can really help her launch this business and make it special.
Yeah. Shall we have her sweets at our board meetings in future?
-I would insist upon it.
I have always, since I was a young boy, looked up to Lord Sugar
as a businessman, and to now be his business partner,
this is literally a dream that I've always had,
and for that dream to come true,
it's just...very, very humbling.
It feels incredible.
I'm just shocked and amazed
and so proud that Lord Sugar found
enough in both of us to make a double investment.
The future is definitely sweet,
and it's going to be a great adventure.
Well, there I was, torn.
I just couldn't choose between one or the other,
and the only fair thing to do was to choose them both.
The thing is, of course, it's now going to cost me £500,000,
but it's worth it.
two investments -
Lord Sugar's search
For the final head to head, in the fight to win an investment, the remaining candidates go to London's Sky Garden in the City. Hoping to help the two front runners flourish are past candidates from this year, who are hand-picked to make up the teams.
The grand finale is a three-day challenge, where the finalists have to bring their business plans to life in order to prove their concept has the potential to grow big. The finalists must create brands and ad campaigns before pitching to a room full of experts in City Hall.