Belfast Telegraph

The Apprentice: Meet the candidates

There are a new batch of entrepreneurs battling for Lord Sugar’s funding.

The Apprentice hopefuls (BBC/PA)
The Apprentice hopefuls (BBC/PA)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Sixteen new aspiring entrepreneurs are preparing to do battle to win investment in their business in the new series of The Apprentice.

Here are the candidates hoping to secure £250,000 from Lord Sugar.

– Dean Ahmad

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Dean Ahmad (BBC)

The owner of a sports managements agency, the 20-year-old from Essex believes he is the “definition of an entrepreneur” after setting up his business when he was 15.

He claims his confidence and emotional intelligence are “off the charts” and does not think he has many traits that would let him down in business.

He says: “I’ve definitely got the gift of the gab, I can persuade anyone to do anything.”

– Scarlett Allen-Horton

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Scarlett Allen-Horton (BBC)

The 32-year-old owner of a recruitment company from the West Midlands believes her upbeat personality is a strong asset in business, claiming “people will often buy into me as a person”.

She considers herself a “very good problem solver” but admits struggling to accept help from others.

Scarlett plans to apply the same tactic she uses in all aspects of her life – “working the hardest and the smartest to be the best”.

She says: “I am an achiever. I have been the highest performer across every workplace I have worked within.”

– Jemelin Artigas

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Jemelin Artigas (BBC)

A network marketing consultant from south-east London, the 34-year-old considers resilience to be one of her best personal qualities, having come from a humble background in Venezuela.

She describes herself as competitive and fearless in business, and “1,000% committed” to winning every task.

However, she also warns she can also be “next-level stubborn” and likes things done her way. She says: “I never have problems, I only have solutions.”

– Souleyman Bah

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Souleyman Bah (BBC)

The visually impaired para athlete and motivational speaker, 20, trains with the Great Britain Paralympic team, specialising in sprinting.

He was diagnosed with retina pigmentosa at the age of six, and says he is inspired by late musician Ray Charles because “he made blindness cool and achieved immense success despite his disability”.

He plans to be brutally honest and bold and to fight for his place by trying to keep Lord Sugar’s attention on him, saying: “The less sight I have, the more imagination I gain, because what you see is what you see and what you don’t see is when the magic begins.”

– Lewis Ellis

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Lewis Ellis (BBC)

A digital marketing project manager, 28, from Lancashire, the self-proclaimed “maverick” is confident his competitiveness and determination will see him through the process.

He admits he struggles to hide his feelings in his facial expressions, and says his confidence is often mistaken for arrogance, but claims: “I don’t think I’m better than anyone else.”

He adds: “I may not be the smartest guy in the room, but I’ll sure as hell work harder.”

– Lubna Farhan

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Lubna Farhan (BBC)

The finance manager, 33, from Luton, is a mother of two and said good role models were lacking in her life so she decided to become her own.

She enjoyed studying and focused on educating herself first, which gave her the confidence to pursue her dreams and aspirations.

Now she believes she “has the whole package” – book smarts and street smarts – and describes herself as “a dark horse”.

She says: “I came from a council estate. I have made myself into something good and I’m on my way to becoming something great.”

– Riyonn Farsad

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Riyonn Farsad (BBC)

The 30-year-old events manager from south London believes his personality is his best asset, saying: “I am fun, smart and always get on with everyone – I have never come across anyone who doesn’t get on with me.”

He strives to live by the mantra “why work for someone else, when you can work for yourself and be the best at that”, and has invented his own party card-based game, saying he has “a little black book full of multimillion-pound ideas”.

He adds: “I will use my poker face and tactics to always come out on top.”

– Shahin Hassan

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Shahin Hassan (BBC)

A chartered engineer, 36, from Birmingham, he credits Elon Musk as one of his role models because the Tesla chief “thinks outside the box”, a quality he sees in himself.

He thinks his imagination will make him stand out from the other candidates and believes having a plan and being able to execute it is key to success.

He says: I love business more than sharks love blood. I’m ruthless in my pursuit of success.”

– Pamela Laird

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Pamela Laird (BBC)

The owner of a beauty brand from Dublin, the 29-year-old attributes her success to her “entrepreneurial gene”.

She describes herself as feisty and passionate with a charismatic personality, which enables her to excel in sales, but she acknowledges she can be impatient and demanding and often finds it difficult to delegate tasks.

She says: “I love to be the underestimated person in the room.”

– Carina Lepore

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Carina Lepore (BBC)

The 30-year-old from south London is the owner of an artisan bakery and says she is a natural leader and that people latch on to her to benefit from the influence she carries.

She believes it’s “written in the stars” that she will be Lord Sugar’s next Apprentice, warning that the other candidates should not underestimate her because of her south London accent as she knows how to “put on a suit and be the full package”.

She says: “I’m about 5ft 1in tall – I’m like a pocket rocket, you don’t really want to mess with me.”

– Lottie Lion

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Lottie Lion (BBC)

A 19-year-old librarian from Somerset, she says she is “very cut-throat” and is no pushover.

She believes her poise and “powers of persuasion” are her greatest business qualities, noting that people with bad manners anger her and she gets frustrated when things do not match her high standards.

She says: “I bring class to everything and ensure nothing I do is half-standard or tacky.”

– Ryan-Mark Parsons

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Ryan-Mark Parsons (BBC)

The luxury womenswear consultant, 19, from south London, is the youngest candidate and is hoping to prove that age is irrelevant when it comes to business.

He describes himself as “a 60-year-old trapped in a teenager’s body” and is an award-winning public speaker who cites says the Queen his role model, admiring her “no-nonsense persona”.

Despite believing his best asset to be his ability to “forge a connection with anyone”, he admits he is “not afraid to be ruthless when it comes to the other candidates”.

He says: “I am the epitome of luxury.”

– Iasha Masood

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Iasha Masood (BBC)

An account manager from Manchester, the 27-year-old believes her “crazy, controversial, eccentric personality” will make her stand out.

She says her “natural persona” will be enough to win the process and she hopes the other candidates will underestimate her, as she aims to keep her “enemies” close to her.

She says: “I can read people just by looking at their body language, they won’t realise it until it’s too late – and checkmate.”

She adds: “I’m one fierce businesswoman with both sass and class.”

– Kenna Ngoma

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Kenna Ngoma (BBC)

The ice cream company owner, 24, from Greater Manchester, used to play semi-professional football for Manchester City before that was cut short by injury in 2013.

He believes he is enthusiastic with an “infectious personality”, which he hopes will aid him to befriend the strongest candidates to help him build alliances for the boardroom.

He says: “I combine a thirst to learn with entrepreneurial thinking, ready to win at all costs.”

– Marianne Rawlins

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Marianne Rawlins (BBC)

The 36-year-old owner of a risk management consultancy from Stamford, Lincolnshire, moved from the US to the UK in 2017 and sees conflict management as one of her strongest skills.

She admits she does not have a filter and may need to “dial down her American-ness” and take a step back, as she says she can be too direct.

She says: “I’m definitely the epitome of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ because what you see is not what you get.”

– Thomas Skinner

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Thomas Skinner (BBC)

The owner of a pillow company, the 28-year-old is from east London and showed entrepreneurial spirit from an early age.

He started with a paper round when he was 12 and was selling on markets by the age of 16.

Since then he has set up his own pillow company, attributing his business success to his “sharp, streetwise” character and notes that being “a chancer” has worked in his favour more often than not.

He says he does not have a role model, saying: “I am my own person,” and adds: “I don’t plan – I just do everything on impulse. When I plan, I always get it wrong.”

PA

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