Roll up, roll up – it’s time for the world’s most chaotic business competition to return to our screens once again.
Baroness Karren Brady and season one winner Tim Campbell will return to help the Amstrad founder decide which contestant is worthy of being crowned winner. But who makes up this year’s collection of suited-up hopefuls?
Here’s a rundown of The Apprentice class of 2024…
Combining pharmacy skills with business acumen, Amina Khan has a skincare and supplements company that she hopes will impress Lord Sugar.
Amina claims that she knew she wanted to achieve the big bucks from an early age, realising her desire to become a millionaire at age 13.
“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,” the Ilford-based candidate explains.
Balancing medical practice with being the owner of a wellness brand, Sheffield-based doctor Asif Munaf names his biggest business success as launching a business while working 12-hour shifts as a doctor during Covid.
He also proudly describes himself as having the four Bs: Beauty, brains, body and business. With attributes such as those, how could Lord Sugar possibly say no?
A recruitment consultant from London, Flo Edwards says her fellow candidates would make a crucial mistake in underestimating her: “I’m here to win.”
She owns a consultancy business and though she doesn’t believe she deserves Lord Sugar’s endorsement more than anyone else, Flo believes her proven track record of generating revenue and her positive aims for her business will make her stand out.
“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!),” she says.
Calling herself the “Mary Poppins of business”, Mancunian project manager Foluso Falade wants to help young people get a head start in business.
With Lord Sugar’s investment, Foluso wants to run a social enterprise. She says: “I plan on building an empire in an ethical way, whilst raising up inspiring people along the way.”
Bristol-based recruitment director Jack Davies credits his unwavering work ethic and drive to succeed as reasons why Lord Sugar should impart with a quarter of a million pounds for his business venture.
As well as being proud of moving up the business ranks quickly, Jack boasts a food review page on social media.
Bringing the bridge pose to the boardroom, yoga teacher and company owner Maura Rath wants to use Lord Sugar’s investment to bolster her business, which promotes well-being.
For Wexford-based Maura, her biggest business success comes from the response of her clients. She says: “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.”
“I have competitiveness in my blood,” says Liverpool-based Noor Bouziane. As the owner of a premium jewellery company since she was 20, Noor had to be disciplined to make it a success.
She believes that her brand is more than worthy of the investment prize as it offers something new, as well as “the best accessories around”.
Sales executive Oliver Medforth from Yorkshire hopes that his experience selling at markets will make him a shoo-in for succeeding at the many selling tasks The Apprentice concocts.
“This is where I will dominate and prove to Lord Sugar that I am a selling machine,” he notes. “I work the markets selling gin and tonic and there aren’t many customers that leave without buying.”
Keep your eyes on Onyeka Nweze – she believes that her business will end up making £10m within its first five years. It’s a big claim from the London-based chartered company secretary, but she believes that Lord Sugar can stand to make some “serious money” by taking a chance on her tech business.
Fun fact: the Apprentice boss has never invested in a tech company before – is this the year he starts?
Another candidate hoping for a piece of the pie is Paul Bowen, the director of… a pie company. From Lancashire, Paul notes his biggest business success to date as securing a deal with Manchester City Football Club and supplying them with pies for the past five years.
He also adds that he could make Lord Sugar “the Lord of the Pies” – but to his surprise, he’s not the only pie expert in the competition this year…
Phil Turner from Bognor Regis is this year’s second candidate with a big interest in pastries and fillings – he owns a pie company, and was awarded “Supreme Pie Champion” in 2020.
At age 21, Phil bought his family bakery, which has been running since the 1930s, and has built it into a seven-figure, profitable business. But will his success in scaling a business be enough to make him the champion of the pie masters in this competition?
Will it be all smiles in the boardroom for dentist Paul Midha? Though he’s successful as a tooth expert, Paul is looking to delve into the business world headfirst with the help of Lord Sugar.
“I am ready for the extensive learning ahead, understanding that I have much to gain and a long yet rewarding journey,” he says. Yet, this isn’t his first brush with TV fame: he once auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent with his body-popping skills.
Leeds-based boutique fitness studio owner Rachel Woolford sees the silver lining in the Covid lockdown period – she started up her business amid several limitations and restrictions and believes it made her “a tougher person all-round”.
Her first business experience came at age seven when she staged an impromptu sale on the side of the road. Apparently, she gave her mother a fright after going briefly missing, only to be found outside, “shaking a biscuit tin full of coins and shouting ‘toys for sale, everything must go today!’”
Mortgage broker Raj Chohan calls herself a “dog with a bone” when it comes to achieving her targets – surely an asset for The Apprentice.
Hailing from Leamington Spa, Raj believes her life experience and maturity can help her to score Lord Sugar’s investment, as well as her business acumen and drive to succeed. In September 2023, she was awarded Mortgage Broker of the Year as well as winning the Silver Award for Best Businesswoman in Finance.
Del Boy has some competition, it seems – Essex-based fitness coach Sam Saadet says that friends refer to her as the classic Only Fools and Horses character due to her being “part-wheeler-dealer” as well as having an eye for a bargain.
The mother-of-two comes to the show having launched a pre and post-natal fitness app, and says she’s proud that her business helps “lots of mums like myself”.
He may be suited up like the rest of them, but Londoner Steve Darken doesn’t want anyone to think of him as “just another corporate” – there’s a creative streak running through him.
Though he works as a management consultant now, Steve was once a self-described “low-budget filmmaker”, who even had a movie screened at Cannes Film Festival.
On working with Lord Sugar, Steve says they’d be “guaranteed to turn any venture into a multi-million-pound success”.
London-based music and wellness entrepreneur Tre Lowe may be known to UK garage fans as one of the founders of the Nineties group Architechs, known best for the party banger “Body Groove”. Tre had to give up DJing due to severe tinnitus, and channelled his energies into his other passion for fitness.
On bringing his wellness business to Lord Sugar’s attention, Tre says: “I am going to change the world and create a legacy that reverberates through time.”
Virdi Singh Mazaria
Rounding out this year’s batch of boardroom hopefuls is Virdi Singh Mazaria, a music producer and international DJ from Leicester. With a background in auditing, Virdi brings a range of talents to the table.
He explains: “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.”
The Apprentice continues Thursdays at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.