The Apprentice is “unrealistic” say Nine in Ten Small Businesses
Just 11%of small firms think BBC series The Apprentice offers a realistic picture of UK business, research from business services firm Sage has found.
The series follows 16 candidates competing to win a £250,000 investment to start a business with Lord Sugar as partner. The winner will choose the type of business they want to set up and will own 50%of the venture.
The Sage UK survey of 500 small firms also found that only 21%of respondents thought the series gave a positive portrayal of UK business. Small-business owners said the key attributes needed to succeed in business were integrity, commitment and interpersonal skills ? not the “win at all costs” mentality displayed by the shows’ participants.
“There are few bigger personalities in British business than Lord Sugar, but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind saying that his style isn’t to everyone’s taste.”
said Sage chief executive, Brendan Flattery.
“Shows like The Apprentice present a deliberately skewed view, but few other programmes have been so successful in getting Britain talking about business, even if it is generally to discuss which of the candidates is the most clueless.”
“Based on my own experience of speaking to small-business owners every day, I’m happy to confirm that the talent pool among UK entrepreneurs is a great deal deeper than The Apprentice might lead us to believe.”
Sarah Arrow, owner of courier service Arrow Light Haulage said:
“It’s a totally unrealistic view, if some of them represented my firm I’d go out of business the way they behave.”
Accountancy firm GBM Accounts managing director, Nick Goddard, agreed the series didn’t reflect the reality of the small-business world, saying:
“Small business is about building relationships, not back stabbing and short-term profit.”
The survey also found that just 13%of small-business owners chose Lord Sugar as the business partners they would most like to work with. Dragons’ Den investor Peter Jones was by far the most popular choice with 35%of the poll, followed by fellow dragon Theo Paphitis.