The highly anticipated return of The Apprentice is upon us, with business mogul Lord Sugar leading the charge alongside his esteemed advisors, Baroness Karren Brady and Tim Campbell MBE.

Series 18 promises fresh faces, comprising 18 ambitious candidates, who are gearing up to tackle a series of brand-new tasks. The stakes are high, as these hopeful business minds vie for the chance of a lifetime – securing Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment and invaluable mentorship.

Launching the series with flair, the candidates find themselves in the scenic Scottish Highlands. Their inaugural challenge involves a corporate hospitality showdown, as the men’s and women’s teams go head-to-head in orchestrating high-end away days for corporate clients, all in the quest to impress Lord Sugar.

Surviving the initial boardroom scrutiny is just the beginning. As the series unfolds, candidates will grapple with a diverse range of demanding tasks. From navigating a virtual escape room to concocting children’s cereal, the challenges will test their business acumen and creativity. A jaunt to Jersey awaits for the classic discount buying task, while Budapest becomes the backdrop for a tourism challenge. And, of course, The Apprentice wouldn’t be complete without the ever-popular TV shopping channel task.

Don’t miss a moment of the action – tune in to The Apprentice on BBC One and BBC iPlayer starting Thursday, 1st February, at 9 pm. Lord Sugar’s boardroom awaits, and the journey to entrepreneurial success is set to captivate audiences once again.

Meet The Apprentice Candidates

Amina Khan

Amina

I am one of the hardest working women I know. There is no one else like me.

Occupation: Pharmacist and Business Owner

Location: Ilford

A qualified pharmacist for over 10 years, Amina has created a successful skincare and supplements business. She wants to prove to Lord Sugar that her business acumen is more than skin deep.

What is your biggest business success to date?

I started my business from zero and made my first turnover of £1 million within two years of launching my skincare and supplements brand. I achieved all this with no investment, no business background, no social media following and only in-house marketing. To think, I couldn’t even afford a cheeky Nando’s three years ago!

What is your biggest business fail?

In the three years of running my business? None. I am a massive risk taker, but I also pride myself in making calculated decisions when it comes to my brand. I’ve never made a loss and the numbers speak for themselves.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

When I was 13 years old, I remember sitting in school one day and made a pact to myself that I would do whatever it takes to become a millionaire. Having grown up in an underprivileged background with two immigrant parents trying to make ends meet, I have been relentlessly grinding since then to get to where I am today.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I’ve already made over £2 million in my three years of business with very healthy profits. I have no fancy team or office and I started from absolute zero. On my own, I’ve built the foundations for a very successful business and joining forces with Lord Sugar means we would dominate the market overnight. I am also one of the hardest working women I know. There is no one else like me. My drive and determination are unmatched.

Dr. Asif Munaf

Asif

I’ve got an extremely high IQ. I’ve got an extremely high bench press. And to top it off, I’m quite good on the eyes.

Occupation: Owner, Wellness Brand

Location: Sheffield

“Beauty, brains, body and business” is how Asif proudly describes himself on his CV. A doctor with a business plan focused on healthy vitamins and supplements, Asif may need more than the four Bs to win Lord Sugar’s investment.

What is your biggest business success to date?

Launching a business whilst working 12-hour shifts as a doctor during Covid.

What is your biggest business fail?

Dragons’ Den, D.A.T.E Smoothie. Was far too early but I learnt some great business insights from the Dragons.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

I am the eldest of six kids and have a brother at primary school who is 22 years my junior!

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

With my range of vitamins and supplements, I would make sure he is fit, sharp and firing for at least another 20 series!

Flo Edwards

Flo

My warning to the other candidates? Don’t underestimate me. I’m here to win.

Occupation: Recruitment Consultant

Location: London

Never one to back down from a challenge, Flo started her own consultancy and has proven herself with great performance history. Is she ready to take on one of the toughest processes around?

What is your biggest business success to date?

Taking the jump and launching my own consultancy.

What is your biggest business fail?

Failing is part of any job and I make them every day… If you don’t fail and make mistakes, you’ll never learn and grow. I just make sure I don’t try to repeat the same one!

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

I’ve taught my dog how to close a door…? I mean, how deep do we want to go here!

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I don’t necessarily deserve Lord Sugar’s investment more than anyone else in the process; I have a great business and I have a proven track record of generating revenue. However, equality, diversity and inclusion is at the core of the business so with Lord Sugar’s experience with scaling recruitment businesses we can expedite this positive impact (alongside profits!).

Foluso Falade

Foluso

Money doesn’t move me, but making a difference does.

Occupation: Project Manager

Location: Manchester

Foluso wants to help young people get a head start in business, as the self-proclaimed ‘Mary Poppins of business’. She wants to run the first Social Enterprise to win Lord Sugar’s investment.

What is your biggest business success to date?

My biggest success to date is choosing to start a business aimed at helping young people, it was a gamble, but I believe it will be my best business success.

What is your biggest business fail?

I thankfully haven’t had anything fail, but the biggest learning point so far has been starting with what I have and understanding that I must work within my means with building upward as my goal.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

My passion for business comes from my mother who has owned a shop in Manchester for 25 years – my entire life. I’ve always been inspired by her perseverance, and passion to keep growing and she’s inspired me to take a leap of faith and believe in myself.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I am a one-of-a-kind type of person, an investment in one that guarantees profit. With my people-focused attitude, I plan on building an empire in an ethical way, whilst raising up inspiring people along the way.

Jack Davies

Jack

Anything I put my mind to, I succeed in.

Occupation: Recruitment Director

Location: Bristol

Aspirational recruitment director and food reviewer Jack is used to moving up the ranks quickly. Lord Sugar’s investment could be his next step to success, or will he bite off more than he can chew?

What is your biggest business success to date?

My biggest success to date is achieving five promotions in seven years, reaching director level within recruitment.

What is your biggest business fail?

I don’t have one. Failure is never an option.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

I have a food review page on social media. Check it out and give us a follow!

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I deserve Lord Sugar’s investment due to my work ethic and drive to succeed, which I’m ready to prove with this business venture.

Maura Rath

Maura

The success of my business is measured by the joy and health it brings people.

Occupation: Owner, Yoga Company

Location: Wexford

Yoga teacher Maura’s business is rooted in the promotion of her clients’ well-being in a way that makes business boom. She wants to scale up with the help of Lord Sugar’s investment.

What is your biggest business success to date?

I hear back that my business brings some people a little bubble of self-love, it helps some people with that winter dread, and people move stronger and more freely than before.

What is your biggest business fail?

My biggest lesson was buying into the hype and the sales pitch of a custom app, which was an expensive experiment and wasn’t the best experience for me or my customers. All this learning was poured into my new mobile-friendly website, which is working great!

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

I swim in the Irish Sea all year round come rain, hail or snow! I am obsessed with sea swimming and cold-water dipping and actually prefer the colder months.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I believe I deserve Lord Sugar’s investment because my business promotes positivity and well-being, in a profitable and scalable way, with five income streams.

Noor Bouziane

Noor

I have competitiveness in my blood. I will go to any length to win this process.

Occupation: Owner, Jewellery Company

Location: Liverpool

Ambitious owner of a premium jewellery company, Noor believes Lord Sugar would be missing out on plenty of cash if he were not to invest in her accessory business.

What is your biggest business success to date?

My biggest success so far has been starting up my business at the age of just 20. As I’ve had to run it independently, I’ve learned to be very disciplined in the daily organisation of my business.

What is your biggest business fail?

My biggest business failure so far has been ordering a large amount of stock from a supplier that sadly delivered me very poor-quality jewellery, which was not up to standard for my business.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

I’m a fantastic cook!

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

My business is worthy of the investment because I will be able to generate a lot of money for Lord Sugar compared to other candidates. My brand is something new and it offers the best accessories around.

Oliver Medforth

Oliver

I am a selling machine.

Occupation: Sales Executive

Location: Yorkshire

Never doing “owt for nowt”, Oliver’s background in selling at markets has him looking forward to the famous (and infamous) sales tasks. After supervising stores up and down the country, he’s ready to face the boardroom.

What is your biggest business success to date?

Running five retail shops for our family run distillery, from Newcastle to Swindon and setting up a soft drink that pairs perfectly with all our range of gins.

What is your biggest business fail?

I am not afraid to admit to making mistakes as I find it’s the best opportunity to learn from them, shows a willingness to try different experiences and not being afraid to be slightly alternative is one of my biggest advantages.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

I really hope there is a selling task because this is where I will dominate and prove to Lord Sugar, I am a selling machine. I work the markets selling gin and tonic and there aren’t many customers that leave without buying.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I’m hard working and determined to achieve anything I set a goal to do. I fully enjoy what I do, and this will be applied to Lord Sugar if I manage to get the investment.

Onyeka Nweze

Onyeka

My business is going to be making 10 million within the first 5 years.

Occupation: Chartered Company Secretary

Location: London

Onyeka’s successful corporate background and money-making business plan have her hoping for Lord Sugar’s first tech business investment in eighteen series.

What is your biggest business success to date?

I believe my biggest success in business so far has been building my great corporate career to where it is to date.

What is your biggest business fail?

In all honesty, I am yet to experience one!

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

Putting my corporate hat aside, I am also a makeup artist and I really enjoy interior decoration.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

If Lord Sugar is ready to make some serious money, then he needs me. He’s never invested in a tech business, now is the time.

Paul Bowen

Paul B

I could make Lord Sugar the Lord of the Pies.

Occupation: Director, Pie Company

Location: Lancashire

One of two pie company experts entering the process, Paul prides his business on big name clients such as Manchester City Football Club. He’s looking to unite his passion for business with Lord Sugar’s strategic expertise.

What is your biggest business success to date?

Securing a deal with Manchester City Football Club and supplying them with pies for the past five years.

What is your biggest business fail?

I’ve only failed in small ways, as that’s the only way to see what works. My biggest failure personally has been with the stock market. Let’s just say I won’t be swapping pies for shares any time soon!

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

I’ve raced in British Motocross, road bikes and recently been riding speedway at a semi-professional level. I’m bike mad!

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I’m seeking investment of Lord Sugar’s time and knowledge. I have great ideas and great business acumen, along with a work hard attitude. My organisation and planning is my weakness. But with Lord Sugar’s strategy and my passion and ideas, I could make him Lord of the Pies.

Dr. Paul Midha

Paul M

I am enthusiastic about learning from one of the UK’s most successful businessmen.

Occupation: Owner, Dental Group

Location: Leeds

Paul started his practice using every resource he had. Used to extensive learning from studying as a dentist, Paul is set on Lord Sugar’s investment and all that he can teach him about the world of business.

What is your biggest business success to date?

After graduating as a dentist, I diligently saved a 20% deposit upon the acquisition of my first dental practice and invested every resource, leaving just £100 in my account, and dedicated myself to the practice. Over 15 months of unwavering dedication, the practice’s valuation soared to an astounding £900,000—an exceptional growth of over five times its initial value.

What is your biggest business fail?

Every setback I’ve encountered has, in hindsight, played a pivotal role in subsequent successes. However, one significant underestimation on my part was the timeline for completing the acquisition of a dental practice, which took 14 months. While this phase was demanding, it offered profound lessons in resilience and adaptability and ultimately made me a better businessperson.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

My proficiency in body-popping has been a standout talent that paved my way to victory in numerous talent shows during my younger years (including a Britain’s Got Talent audition). This unique skill opened doors, leading me to an exciting opportunity as an extra in a Disney TV show.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

Presenting a product-based business plan to Lord Sugar, I aim to revolutionise the healthcare attire market. When executed adeptly, this approach has the potential to secure a substantial market share. I am ready for the extensive learning ahead, understanding that I have much to gain and a long yet rewarding journey ahead.

Phil Turner

Phil

You don’t grow a multi-million-pound business by being a pushover.

Occupation: Owner, Pie Company

Location: Bognor Regis

Phil was awarded ‘Supreme Pie Champion’ in 2020 for his family-owned pie business, which dates back to the 1930s. He’s hoping to prove himself to Lord Sugar and start making him some real dough.

What is your biggest business success to date?

My biggest business success would be buying my parents’ small bakery at the age of 21 and building it into a seven-figure profitable business.

What is your biggest business fail?

Building my business over the years is a succession of failures. Almost everything I’ve done for the first time failed in one way or another. I live by the motto “we win or we learn.” There is no failure that I have encountered in business or life that has not been necessary for growth. Failure is necessary for success.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

You may not know, but I am terrible at writing and spelling; anything I write by hand will always be in capital letters and almost definitely spelt wrong. Although undiagnosed, I would imagine I am dyslexic. I don’t feel it has held me back in business.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I deserve Lord Sugar’s investment because I already have a track record of successfully building and scaling a business. I have learnt how to run a business the hard way, and now I feel like it’s time to take my business to the next level.

Rachel Woolford

Rachel

I have no doubt that starting up during Covid made me a tougher person all round.

Occupation: Boutique Fitness Studio Owner

Location: Leeds

Business-minded from a very young age, Rachel has plenty of experience managing her work independently. Could a business partnership with Lord Sugar be the next big step?

What is your biggest business success to date?

Opening a business in the middle of Covid and creating a strong community of clients who loved the service we provided, despite all the restrictions and limitations in place.

What is your biggest business fail?

Not asking for help. For a long time, I did absolutely everything in my business – teaching classes, payroll, cleaning, accounts – you name it, I was doing it. Once I learnt that it’s ok to delegate and outsource some of these jobs, I started to scale my business. I finally understood the phrase “work on your business, not in it”.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

When I was seven years old, I went missing, only for my frantically worried mum to find me by the roadside selling my toys shaking a biscuit tin full of coins and shouting “toys for sale, everything must go today!”.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

Anyone in business must work hard, but I work harder!

Raj Chohan

Raj

I want to be a multi-millionaire by 50!

Occupation: Mortgage Broker

Location: Leamington Spa

Raj takes her work seriously but knows to have fun while doing so. A self-confessed ‘dog with a bone’ when meeting her targets, she wants to hit a gap in the market and will do whatever it takes for success.

What is your biggest business success to date?

Most recent success is being awarded Mortgage Broker of the year in September 2023 and also Silver Award winner of Best Businesswoman in Finance.

What is your biggest business fail?

I never fail in business but only learn and improve.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

I’m not just a Mortgage Broker but also a property developer and serviced accommodation provider.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I have business acumen and drive to succeed with all the attributes to scale up this business. I have life experience and maturity and I’m considerate yet very determined to reach my goals. My business is already working with the opportunity to take advantage of a more profitable way to make an income. Working with me, I am receptive to change and take feedback well. I value experience and professional advice. I want to be the UK’s leading lady within the bridging world of finance!

Sam Saadet

Sam

I have a business that truly helps others.

Occupation: Pre and Post Natal Fitness Coach

Location: Essex

Friends call Sam a real Del Boy for being “part-wheeler dealer” as well as her eye for a bargain. An online fitness coach with a focus on mums and mums-to-be, she’s hoping to prove her business brain to Lord Sugar.

What is your biggest business success to date?

Launching my pre and post-natal fitness app whilst looking after two young children, already helping lots of mums like myself.

What is your biggest business fail?

I don’t consider any of my previous business ventures a failure, as they have all taught me something and helped me to create a more successful one.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

I moved to Malta at age 21 on my own to work for a year out there.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I deserve Lord Sugar’s investment because I am one of the savviest, go-getting women I know! This business is all focused on something I am very passionate about whilst also making money too – it’s a win win.

Steve Darken

Steve

Don’t judge me by my suit and tie – I’m not just another corporate!

Occupation: Management Consultant

Location: London

Steve claims that he shares Lord Sugar’s sharp mind and sense of humour. Consulting for “some of the biggest companies in the world”, he’s ready to take on the boardroom.

What is your biggest business success to date?

There have been a few! I broke into consulting on the strength of my project work and growing reputation with clients. Since then, I’ve gone on to partner with some of the biggest companies in the world – crafting strategies that have boosted their bottom line by millions, and leading projects that have transformed businesses into market leaders. But my proudest achievement? Proving that you can succeed in business without being a jerk! Keeping humble (usually) and working with integrity and compassion.

What is your biggest business fail?

I fail… to remember a significant one! But I believe if you make a mistake – then fail fast and learn faster! Lucky for me, I’m a quick learner…

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

I was a low budget filmmaker back in the day, doing everything from big screen horror movies to R’n’B music videos. In one year, I shot a dozen films, won a contest at the legendary Pinewood Studios, and had a film screened at the Cannes Film Festival… all without wearing a suit!

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

If I get the investment, the real winner in the show would be Lord Sugar! My CV speaks for itself – I’m a dedicated business and tech leader who smashes every goal and challenge set. I know Lord Sugar would be an incredible mentor, and we would work very well together – our differences are complementary, and our partnership would be guaranteed to turn any venture into a multi-million-pound success.

Tre Lowe

Tre

I am going to change the world and create a legacy that reverberates through time.

Occupation: Music & Wellness Entrepreneur

Location: London

You may recognise Tre from the UK garage band Architechs. He has high hopes for his wellness business, Tre is drawing on experience from several industries to see him through the process.

What is your biggest business success to date?

In terms of an enduring business legacy, I would have to say my business partnership with my brother Ashley, forming the band – Architechs. There is something truly special about creative success, it goes way beyond just the financials. Though my brother is no longer alive – the music we made in this partnership certainly is and will impact future generations too.

What is your biggest business fail?

Probably the time when I had to give up DJing, due to severe tinnitus. I decided to monetise something else I loved – working out. I created a Personal Training & well-being business. I got my level three PT qualification, where it quickly dawned on me that in the world of Personal Training, PTs I spoke to were far more interested in poaching clients, than being part of a brand.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

People think I am a cool dude. But underneath all of that, I am a super-geek. I have always had a fascination with how things work. One of my dreams as a child was to be in those big red Britannica Encyclopaedia volumes, alongside the likes of Galileo, Newton, and Tesla. Total super nerd. Still cool though.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

Having watched all the series, I know that I am different from most people that have been on the show, being slightly older, from a creative background and with internationally successful music. I believe the future of entrepreneurism will be about the personal stories, challenges, and triumphs of the founders. I have proven success, and I am utterly passionate about impacting people’s lives, I believe this is a proven formula for massive success.

Virdi Singh Mazaria

Virdi

DJ. Host. MC. The other candidates are just extras on my journey to the top.

Occupation: Music Producer

Location: Leicester

DJ Virdi wants to introduce Lord Sugar to a lucrative industry that he’s yet to invest in – music. His background as both an auditor and a producer has Virdi hoping for some hits in the boardroom.

What is your biggest business success to date?

One of my most notable business achievements was having the privilege to produce a track for Sidhu Moose Wala, a prominent figure in the Punjabi music scene. This accomplishment is paralleled by another significant success in my career – to DJ worldwide from the age of 18. Today, I take pride in having showcased my DJ skills in seven countries.

What is your biggest business fail?

I’d say my biggest business fail at the time led to my biggest business success: A month before Covid I left my job as an auditor for the big four to take my music full time. A month later, lockdown hit and I lost all bookings and upcoming projects. At the time, it was my biggest business fail however, what I learnt was, when everything fails, how to improvise and get myself back up. Which is what I did.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know?

One of my goals is to star in a Marvel movie as one of the Avengers.

Why do you deserve Lord Sugar’s investment?

I believe I am deserving of Lord Sugar’s investment because I bring more than just entrepreneurship to the table. I am a creator of unmatched experiences, a performer, my ambition is relentless setting me apart in the fast-paced world of business. With Lord Sugar as my business partner, I am ready to step into a realm of remarkable success.