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The Apprentice Candidates 2015

The Apprentice Candidates 2015



Inspired by Lord Sugar:
Wave of New Business Registrations by Apprentice Candidates

  • Even the ‘losers’ on the Apprentice have been inspired to start their own enterprises, with candidates founding seven new companies since June 2015* (the show was filmed in the Spring of 2015**)
  • Before the show started two candidates had been directors of businesses that were dissolved
  • Lucky miss for Lord Sugar - Dan Callaghan fired in week one was the director of three companies that have been dissolved – CPL (UK) Limited where he is a director has shareholder funds recorded at minus £54,204
  • However, Lord Sugar hired Tom Pellereau, winner of series seven, who co-founded M&P Consulting before the show, despite the company having a net worth of minus £15,597

New research from Creditsafe, the business intelligence experts, reveals the business activity of candidates featured on the BBC’s eleventh series of ‘The Apprentice’.  Since the show completed filming in the Spring of 2015 seven new companies have been founded by candidates appearing on the show.  These companies include RuthAnna Limited, a seller of Arbonne products; International Business Acquisitions Limited; Dream Walk Limited and Three Little Birds Limited.  All the new businesses started since the show finished have stable credit ratings with none currently categorised as a high credit risk.    

Series eleven candidates are following a familiar pattern where even those who haven’t won the show strike out in business for themselves having been inspired by their experience.  Luisa Zissman the self-styled entrepreneur & media girl was Apprentice runner up in series nine and went on to become 2014’s most searched for female company director in the UK on the Creditsafe system.  Luisa launched The Baker Shop Ltd, selling bakeware, sugar craft and cake decorating products alongside her book ‘Wicked Cupcakes’ after appearing on the show.  

At least 13 of the 2015 candidates currently hold the position of, or have previously been, company directors. However, the successes and tenures of the candidates vary dramatically, ranging from appointments lasting a couple of months to long-standing positions in firms with track records over several years.  Joseph Valente founded his Impra Gas Ltd business in February 2012 and the company currently boasts a healthy credit rating and has an estimated net worth of £45,258.  

Lord Sugar may have proved how shrewd he was when he dispatched Dan Callaghan in week one of the series.  Dan claimed “A lot of people laugh at me,” it could be because his business record shows him as the director of three dissolved companies.  In addition, CPL (UK) Limited where he is currently listed as a director has shareholder funds recorded at -£54,204.  However, Lord Sugar isn’t averse to hiring an ‘Apprentice’ without a track record of business success as we previously saw with Tom Pellereau in series seven.



Lord Sugar also dispatched with the services of Aishan Kasim, who described herself as an inventor and hair extensions specialist.  Aishan’s business Madame Hair Limited, which she founded in March 2008, has a net worth of just £3,922.  Indeed, her business acumen may be called into question as her company has had a County Court judgement (CCJ) recorded against it previously of £585.

Rachel Mainwaring, Operations Director at Creditsafe UK said: “The entrepreneurial attitude of the Apprentice candidates continues to shine, even when they are ‘fired’ from show. The fact that so many candidates have started new businesses reveals their desire to succeed even if they were rejected by Lord Sugar.   However, while candidates will be basking in publicity from the show business owners should conduct due diligence before trading with their companies.  It is important to check the financial health and payment history of any company to minimise the risk of trading with a firm that doesn’t pay its bills on time or is at risk of going under.”

Notes to editors:

* Creditsafe’s analysis of company credit reports on its database of Limited Companies in October 2015

** 2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4szRxtYjH2C7VPn6MgYq7s4/the-workings-of-the-apprentice


Learn more about The Apprentice Candidates' Company Backgrounds

April Jackson

April Jackson, 26 from London has 3 companies listed under name, 1 created 3 months prior to the filming of The Apprentice, and two after. They are all deemed creditworthy on the Creditsafe system.

Click the links below to review April's companies' credit reports

Joseph Valente

Before participating in The Apprentice, Joseph had one dissolved company and two active companies registered to his name on the Creditsafe system. Both his active companies have healthy credit scores of 79 and 48.

Click the links below to review Joseph's companies' credit reports

Selina Waterman-Smith

Selina, 31 was a company secretary to a dissolved company in Taunton that was incorporated in 09/02/2000.

Click the link below to review Selina's company's credit report

Brett Butler-Smythe

Brett, 29 from Plymouth has one active company called Pro Build South West Limited which was incorporated after The Apprentice was filmed in August 2015. It has a healthy credit score of 49.

Click the link below to review Brett's company's credit report

Aisha Kasim

Aisha, 30 who has recently been fired by Lord Sugar has been a director and founder since 2008 to her company Madame Hair Limited, which has a creditworthy credit score of 47.

Click the link below to review Aisha's company's credit report

David Stevenson

David, 25 from Nottingham was a previous Director of Aura Artist Management Limited for a year before resigning from the post. He is listed as a director of an advertising agency that hasn’t been trading since 2014 and he also started a new company in June 2015 which has a healthy credit rating of 49.

Click the links below to review David's companies' credit reports

Charleine Wain

Charleine 31, from Plymouth owns an ‘award winning’ hair, beauty and photography salon since 2010 and it has a credit score of 36.

Click the link below to review Charleine's company's credit report

Jennifer Garbis

Jennifer, 23 from London started her own company in April 2015, 2 months before filming The Apprentice. Her company has a creditworthy rating of 49 however Jennifer was fired on week three of the show.

Click the link below to review Jennifer's company's credit report

Daniel Callaghan

Daniel, 23 from London has 3 active companies incorporated between 2012 and 2014 and are all deemed as creditworthy. A lucky escape for Lord Sugar as Daniel also had 3 companies dissolve between 2011 and 2014; he was fired in week 1 of the show.

Click the links below to review Daniel's companies' credit reports

Sam Curry

Sam, 23 from London is a private tutor and he has owned his own tutoring business since June 2015. It has a healthy credit rating of 49.

Click the link below to review Sam's company's credit report

Vana Koutsomitis

Vana, 28 is a Social Media entrepreneur and has two current appointments as a director in the UK.

Click the links below to review Vana's companies' credit reports

Mergim Butaja

Mergin, 23 from Coventry incorporated a business in September 2015 after filming The Apprentice. It has a creditworthy credit rating of 49.

Click the link below to review Mergin's company's credit report

Ruth Whiteley

Ruth, 47 from Harrogate was fired in week 4 of the show. She owns 3 active companies on our Creditsafe system. Her first company was founded in 1998 with an impressive credit score of 82, her second company was founded in 2003 with a credit score of 58 and a net worth of over £70.000, but she only became a director of it in February 2015. Her latest company was founded in July 2015 after the filming of The Apprentice and it has a creditworthy score of 57.

Click the links below to review Ruth's companies' credit reports

Scott Saunders

Scott, 27 from Harrogate owns one company since 2014 with a healthy credit rating of 49.

Click the link below to review Scott's company's credit report


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