The Apprentice

Small Firms Wouldn’t Hire an Apprentice Candidate

More than a third of small-business owners would not hire a candidate from BBC TV series The Apprentice, a survey by IFF Research has found. The poll of 500 small and medium-sized businesses found that 35% would view an aspiring Apprentice’s job application negatively. Small-business owner Martin Gibbons, director at publishing firm EPC, said The Apprentice candidates were unlikely to shine in small firms, because the programme encouraged individualism, not teamwork. “Candidates tend to be ruthless and manipulative, which are not qualities you’d want in a small team.” Most small-business owners, he said, were looking for a willingness to learn, adaptability, team spirit and good communication skills in their new recruits. The findings appear to reflect employers’ unease about t... »

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... »

SMEs Shun Sugar as Peter Jones Emerges as Ideal Business Partner

He may be the doyen of the boardroom, but Lord Alan Sugar leaves small business owners cold, according to research by business software and services provider Sage UK, which saw the former Enterprise Tsar emerge near the bottom of the pile when it comes to business partners SMEs would like to work with. Just 13% of small business owners chose Lord Sugar as the business partner they would most like to work with from a list of celebrity entrepreneurs. Celebrity Dragon Peter Jones was by far the most popular choice, taking 35% of the vote in Sage’s monthly Omnibus survey of UK SMEs. Lord Sugar was also less popular than Dragons’ Den personality Theo Paphitis, and even fellow Apprentice star Karren Brady, who received 15% and 18% of the vote respectively. It wasn’t all bad news for the electron... »

Common Business Mistakes from The Apprentice

With the sixth series of The Apprentice starting next week, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has identified the common mistakes made by candidates in their weekly tasks and how they are often replicated by businesses on a larger scale. Lessons can be learnt though to ensure that companies remain ‘in the boardroom’. Research your market thoroughly – Paul Callaghan (series 3) tries to sell mass-produced English Cheese in a French local food market. It is easy to presume that you know your market. Do research into what your potential market actually wants and continue to regularly survey so that you are not missing any other opportunities. Don’t over order stock – Syed Ahmed (series 2) orders 100 chickens to make 100 pizzas One of the repercussions of the re... »

Business TV has Little Relevance for Small Business

Most business television programmes hold little relevance for small firms ― that is the message from business groups as new series of Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice are set to be screened.  An eighth series of BBC2’s Dragons’ Den, in which entrepreneurs pitch for funding, is due in the coming months, while the new Junior Apprentice, in which ten potential Lord Alan Sugar protégés aged 16-17 compete for a £25,000 career development fund, starts on BBC1 on Wednesday May 12. The National Federation of Enterprise Agencies’ chief executive, George Derbyshire, said that people turn on The Apprentice for the fireworks rather than the business lessons. “The ultra-competitive approach you see on The Apprentice is not always a good trick ... »

Yasmina Siadat, Sir Alan Sugar's new Apprentice

Sir Alan Sugar picks New Apprentice

On Friday Sir Alan sugar was appointed as the Government’s new "Enterprise Tsar". On Sunday night Sir Alan picked his latest sidekick from The Apprentice. Almost a year ago Sir Alan chose Lee McQueen who was infamously remembered for lying very badly on his CV in the challenging "interview" episode of the BBC show. This year’s winner is Yasmina Siadat – the one who, again in the tough interview stage of the competition, didn’t know the difference between the gross and net profit of her own business. Battling it out with the other finalist, Kate Walsh, Yasmina won the last task of creating a new brand of chocolates. Despite making strange flavours of her Cocoa Electric brand with the cheapest chocoloate, a one-off novelty factor and a cheesey ad t... »

New series of The Apprentice tonight

New series of The Apprentice tonight

Don’t forget that tonight the fifth series of the eagerly-anticipated The Apprentice airs on BBC One at 9pm. The candidates will be put through the customary process of making muck from brass, demonstrating (or not) their sales, marketing, project management & business skills and hopefully avoiding the ire of Sir Alan Sugar when, at the end of each episode he picks one unlucky candidate, points and growls his catch phrase. The going has already proved to much for one entrepreneurial wannabe this year who, before even setting foot in the boardroom, "bottled it" in the words of Sir Alan. Realising the pressures of being away from his family for 3 months the un-named candidate simply bailed out. There are now just 15 candidates in this series "It makes my job easier&q... »


Webchat – Starting from Scratch

Global entrepreneur Sue Ismiel offers astute advice to self–starters Chat date: Tuesday 8th July Chat time: 3.45pm Shows such as ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘Dragon’s Den’ have spawned a generation of self-starters all intent on bringing the next big idea to an ever–growing consumer market. But just how easy is it to set up your own business and how do you go about transforming your ideas into a money–making empire? To answer these questions we are hosting a webchat with Sue Ismiel who is CEO of Waxing Empire NADS. Sue started her business from scratch in her own kitchen developing natural waxing alternatives for women. From those rather flimsy foundations her business has grown into a global operation and is continually pushing the innovative bound... »

Lee McQueen - The Apprentice

Alan Sugar Picks New Apprentice

After 11 weeks of hearing "You’re Fired!" last night Sir Alan Sugar chose his fourth protegé from The Apprentice. And, surprising as it may seem, Alan Sugar’s pick from The Apprentice is recuitment manager Lee McQueen who only last week was caught for lying (and rather badly too) on his CV. Giving up his £78,000 salary from last year, Lee becomes Sir Alan’s new apprentice on £100,000 a year after he heard the words "You’re Hired!" After being tasked to create a men’s fragrance against fellow hopefuls Alex Wotherspoon, Claire Young and Helen Speight, Lee’s pitch was deemed the most convincing by tycoon Sir Alan Sugar. Lee McQueen will probably never need to lie on his CV again and nows plans a quick holiday in South ... »