The Apprentice 2015: What Have We Learnt About Business?

It’s that time of year again: time to reflect on the past twelve episodes of The Apprentice and say a well-deserved congratulations to one lucky contestant. Who was the last to hear the famous line “you’re fired!” leave Lord Sugar’s lips? And who is his new business partner? Let’s find out.

The Finalists 2015

So, who has made it through the process to fight it out in the final?

Joseph Valente – Jack the Lad, lothario Joseph is a 25 year old owner of a plumbing business in Peterborough. Two years ago he read Lord Sugar’s biography and was inspired to get into business. Now, he is looking for investment in his nationwide plumbing franchise business plan.

Joseph’s not the most polished of characters, but his passion and drive has seen him beat off this competition to get one step closer to his dream of becoming ‘the godfather of business’.

Vana Koutsomitis – 27 year old Vana couldn’t be more different from her competitor. This cosmopolitan social media entrepreneur currently splits her time between London and Barcelona, but has moved all over the world, living and studying in Shanghai, Spain, France and New York.

Vana is a linguist, whose most recent job role involved running a networking site for finance professionals. She hopes to expand her online net and, with Lord Sugar’s help, build a gamified dating mobile app.

And the Winner Is…


At the end of the final it was a close call, but Joseph’s revamped business plan eventually triumphed over Vana’s as Lord Sugar believed the social media entrepreneur would simply need more money than he was willing to invest.

What Have We Learnt About Business from this Year’s Apprentice?

Back at the beginning of series eleven we discussed who we thought would win the process, and of the final three we predicted, Joseph Valente was one of them.

Read more: The Apprentice 2015 So Far: Our Thoughts
Why did we think he would win? Well, his Jack the Lad attitude and brimming ambition reminded us of what a young Lord Sugar must have been like.

Throughout the series, we’ve also noticed a few pieces of golden advice for contestants and business people of the future. Here are just a few of them:

Your Appearance Matters

Yes, some may argue it’s superficial, but people do judge a book by its cover, so it’s important to portray a professional image. When finalist Joseph grew a little stubble, it was instantly commented on by Claude Littner.

Cut the BS


In episode eleven, the last five candidates were interviewed by Lord Sugar’s panel of respected business associates and no one was roasted quite like Richard Woods.

An interview with the owner of international interior design company Homerun Services, Linda Plant, went as follows:


Linda: “I haven’t got a b***** clue what this is about.

“I know you did well in the tasks but in your current business last year it made £17,000.

“I mean is it bulls***, I think it’s bulls***

“In your business plan you stated that your company with Lord Sugar is going to be worth £3million by year three.

“Why should Lord Sugar believe you if you’ve made £17,000, but with the new business you’re going to make £3million.

“I mean is it bulls***, I think it’s bulls***.

“I think you’re the type of guy who feels he can write a lot of bulls*** and no one will see the truth underneath.”

Richard: “I think I’m agreeing with you.”

Linda: “Thank you.”

Be Unique

Another fatal flaw Richard had was not being unique. The pivotal image his business plan used to illustrate the company’s services was actually one he’d used before at the current company he runs with his brother. A simple reverse image search meant that long-term The Apprentice favourite, Mike Soutar, could call out the marketer on TV.

Don’t risk getting caught out, do your own work!

Show Your Passion

One compliment that finalist Joseph has frequently received throughout the process is that no one doubts his passion for what he does. He often speaks of how he is happy to work 60 hour weeks because he enjoys his job and how he will do the same, if not more, if he wins the chance to partner with Lord Sugar.

Without this passion would Joseph have progressed so far on the show? No one knows for sure, but we doubt it.

Bring Your Business Dreams to Life

Has The Apprentice inspired you to embark on your next business venture? Contact us today to find out what finance options are available to you.
Read more: Lord Sugar’s Best Advice? Invest in Property

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