SERIES 16 of The Apprentice will be hitting UK TV screens this week, and the anticipation for the latest entrepreneurial rollercoaster is building as BBC reveal the new cast.
Lord Alan sugar is back to take on a new business partner and will be taking no prisoners when it comes to looking for the ideal candidate.
Sixteen new and ambitious entrepreneurs have been revealed for the sixteenth instalment of the hit BBC reality TV drama and will take on twelve tasks for a life-changing business opportunity.
They are all competing to win a £250,000 investment in their business.
But if they can’t cut it, a cab is waiting on standby to take them home.
With only days to go, Lord Sugar has made it clear from the outset that the stakes are higher than ever.
Each task will end with the candidates being summoned in to fight their corner in the boardroom, with one final opportunity to escape the firing line.
From ex-military, to high end kids designer clothing creators and desert store owners, this group is sure to bring the experience and entertainment The Apprentice always delivers.
Here are this years candidates:
Aaron Willis, 38
Occupation: Flight Operations Instructor
Having served in the RAF for 12 years as Flight Operations Instructor, Aaron has set out to start his own security business. From travelling all around the world and previously working as a milkman, horseman and butcher, this outgoing and full of life salesman is “hungry for success” and at a stage now, where he “can’t let anyone stand in his way”.
“My strongest point is that I can sell, to anybody and I think that’s the reason why my business will be a success, because people will buy from me.”
Akeem Bundu-Kamara, 29
Occupation: Strategy Manager For A Financial Firm
Akeem considers himself a people’s person who loves being around others, however as a “numbers guy”, his analytical ability often causes him to think carefully about his every move, as he claims he will come in with a “calculated point of view”. Ready to provide the facts, Akeem says he has “got the ambition, the drive and the experience working with strategy” to stand him out from the crowd, as he states he’s already on “the pathway to making it”.
“My growing up has made me who I am, I’m able to converse with everyone, but also be able to show that financial, business side to myself.”
Akshay Thakrar, 28
Occupation: Owner, Digital Marketing Agency
Referring to himself as a man who believes sleeping is a “waste of time” and who’s first word as a new-born was ‘profit’, Akshay believes he’s been put on earth to do one thing, and that’s to make money. With the ability to speak 7 languages, he is able to connect with everyone and therefore can “sell anything, to anyone.”
“My friends call me AK47 because I’m a killer salesperson.”
Alex Short, 27
Occupation: Owner, Commercial Cleaning Company
With big goals for his commercial cleaning business, Alex is driven, focused and is “not going to stop” until he gets where he wants to go. Despite leaving school after the first year of sixth form and encountering a few hurdles along the way, he is now on the way to tripling his turnover – which he views as the “most impressive” thing he’s done in business, so far.
“I would compare myself to a Ferrari, shiny on the outside but under the bonnet, there is a lot of fire and I’m coming for you.”
Amy Anzel, 48
Occupation: Owner, Beauty Brand
Starting her beauty business a little later in life, Amy has now found what she really loves doing in life after previously working in sales, showbiz and jingles. Amy takes business very seriously, and describes herself as determined, persistent and a “tough boss”.
“I can be nice when I need to be, but when I unfortunately have to be a bitch, I will…”
Brittany Carter, 25
Occupation: Hotel Front of House Manager
Describing herself as kind, sociable, and enthusiastic – people person Brittany has a positive outlook on life and is looking for Lord Sugar’s help launching her business idea for the first alcoholic protein drink. Brittany is ready to learn as much as possible throughout the process and is confident she’ll make it to the final.
“My motto for life is ‘always look on the bright side and be grateful for everything’– every day when I wake up, I write 10 things that I am grateful for and when I go to sleep, I reflect on 5 things I am grateful for from that day.”
Conor Gilsenan, 28
Occupation: Sales Executive and former Professional Rugby Player
Hard-working and “hyper-motivated by money”, ex-rugby player Conor describes himself as a “corporate panther” with a record for getting deals done, who will win this series. His business idea consists of a fleet of quirky food and beverage vendors targeted at music and sports events.
“I’m going to be the corporate panther in the boardroom, I’m going to get it done, and I’m going to be Lord Sugar’s perfect business partner.”
Francesca Kennedy Wallbank, 26
Occupation: Owner, Sustainability Company
Eco-conscious, mathematics graduate Francesca is looking for investment in her next venture, providing a product carbon footprint service for businesses with a simple equation of her own creation. Coming from a line of successful entrepreneurs, she is confident that she can win, stating: “I’ve never lost anything, I always win”
“There are two types of people in the world – there’s people that say they are going to do things and people that actually do them, and I’m a doer.”
Harry Mahmood, 35
Occupation: Regional Operations Manager
Inspired by the kindness of his grandparents, Harry wants to help and support people. Describing himself as “the Asian version of Lord Sugar”, he hopes they can work together to develop his bath bomb business and become “the bad boys of the bath bomb world together.”
“Everything I’ve looked into achieving, I’ve achieved. I’ve literally done everything I’ve put my mind to.”
Harpreet Kaur, 30
Occupation: Owner, Dessert Parlour
Describing herself as a born leader, fearless and funny, Harpreet plans to “level up” her successful, six-figure coffee and cakes business to become a leading brand in the UK. Motivated by her need to be the best version of herself, she isn’t here to make friends and is ready to be Lord Sugar’s next business partner.
“I’m definitely not in business to make friends, I’m here to make money, and I’m pretty sure Lord Sugar isn’t looking for a new mate.”
Kathryn Louise Burn, 29
Occupation: Owner, Online Pyjama Store
After working a range of jobs, from mortgage advisor to events manager, Kathryn now has ambitious plans for her online pyjama business and is confident that they will one day be “worn by everyone”. Describing herself as ambitious, kind, and often “savage”, she says she’s there to win, not to make friends.
“My dreams in my head are absolutely huge and I believe I can achieve them.”
Navid Sole, 27
Qualified pharmacist and Nicki Minaj superfan Navid aspires to create a successful pharmacy business with the help and expertise of Lord Sugar. Describing himself as quirky and unique, Navid plans to stay true to himself throughout the process.
“Nothing intimidates me because I just feel like I’m a strong character, strong person, strong mindset.”
Nick Showering, 31
Occupation: Finance Manager
After “working in the shadow of his family’s business”, qualified accountant Nick hopes to make a name for himself in the drinks industry with his line of flavoured water. Considering himself a people person who is lots of fun, Nick’s plan to beat the competition is to “kill them with kindness”.
“In business I’m a bit of a force to be reckoned with. I know what I’m talking about, I know how things work, and I’m extremely experienced. So, I’m a bit of an animal in the boardroom.”
Sophie Wilding, 32
Occupation: Owner, Boutique Cocktail Bar
Saleswoman turned businesswoman Sophie describes herself as magical and enchanting, and has big renovation plans for her boutique cocktail bar. With her positive attitude and witch school qualifications under her belt, Sophie feels winning is “in her DNA” and that her ideas are truly “out of the ordinary.”
“Failure is not an option, winning is part of my DNA.”
Shama Amin, 41
Occupation: Owner, Children’s Day Nursery
Shama, the 41-year-old mother of five, is passionate about taking care of children and describes herself as loyal, determined and outspoken. Having wanted this since childhood, Shama is ready to prove she has the “skillset that is required to be one of the best, successful businesswomen in the early years sector.”
“Being a lady of colour, wearing a headscarf as well, and the challenges that we face on a daily basis, I just want to be a living example for the Asian women and South Asian women out there.”
Stephanie Afflek, 28
Occupation: Owner, Online Children’s Store
Describing herself as confident, decisive and brutally honest, Stephanie is looking for funding and support to develop her designer children’s wear store. With a no- nonsense attitude towards business, Stephanie wants to be part of the rapidly growing pre-loved fashion industry and make a difference in the world.”
“I’m an East London girl, and I’ve got that no nonsense sort of work ethic. I’ve got grit, determination and I’m determined to be successful.”
The Apprentice returns on Thursday January 6 from 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.