The Apprentice 2023 hopefuls looking to bag a £250,000 business investment from Lord Alan Sugar have been revealed.
Eighteen candidates will start the series, which begins on BBC One on Thursday 5 January, in the search for Lord Sugar’s new business partner.
Past winners include recruitment agent Ricky Martin, dessert parlour owner Harpreet Kaur and entrepreneur turned 2022 Apprentice aide Tim Campbell.
Here are the contestants looking to shine under The Apprentice spotlight and win the quarter-of-a-million pound investment from Lord Alan Sugar.
Who are The Apprentice 2023 contestants?
- Avi Sharma: London-based Sharma is a city banker and the youngest candidate in the series. He said: “Some say I’m delusional, I prefer the term optimistic. Lord Sugar’s investment will help me escape the rat race of a banking job. I’m the hardest working rat he’ll ever meet.”
- Bradley Johnson: As a director of a construction company from north Yorkshire, Johnson prides himself on his “drive and determination”, having started a profitable business from nothing. He said: “I have a business plan that will see us turn over seven figures after year three and who knows where else that could take us.”
- Dani Donovan: Donovan is the owner of a hair salon in Hertfordshire and believes the key to business is “passion”. She said: “My unique selling point is my personality. I bring something unique. I’m a different kind of business owner, which is a lot more relatable to people.”
- Denisha Kaur Bharj: Bharj, who is a financial controller from Leicestershire, said she is not scared of being out of her comfort zone and has always been a “strong, motivated, hard-working woman”. She added: “I’m a woman who wants to create an empire and have it all, to be able to provide for my family and to be an inspiration to young women.”
- Emma Browne: Browne, a senior account executive from County Kildare, described herself as a “workaholic” and promised her business idea will be “one of the most successful ideas to ever come out of The Apprentice”. She added: “I am extremely competitive. I won’t let anything get in my way. If I have an opinion and I think it’s going to allow us to win the task, I will be sure to be straightforward with the other candidates.”
- Gregory Ebbs: Shropshire-based local councillor Ebbs, who owns an online antiques marketplace and previously worked as a professional cannon-firer, said his willingness to try different things is one of his “biggest strengths”. He said: “I think I’ve got a really clear vision of what I want in the future and that is substantiated from having diverse experience in different fields and my willingness to try things that very few people will do.”
- Joseph Phillips: Worcestershire-based Phillips, who studied zoology and became a safari guide in South Africa, said his dyslexia is the “driving force” for him to succeed and prove his capabilities. He added: “It’s made me fight harder to keep up with everyone else. Then when I finally caught up, it wasn’t enough, I needed to go past them to prove to people that, yes, you can have dyslexia but you can still succeed in whatever you want to do.”
- Kevin D’Arcy: The accountant from Dublin started his water sports equipment business during lockdown while working in financial services and is looking to Lord Sugar to help him expand into the UK. He said: “It’s gone from strength to strength in Ireland and is now stocked in some of the country’s biggest stores. With Lord Sugar as my business partner, I know we can ride that wave into the UK and beyond.”
- Mark Moseley: The London-based pest control company owner is a former soldier and believes his experience navigating hostile environments around the world has equipped him to handle the boardroom. Moseley said: “I’m very talkative with the charm to match… I can sell to anyone.”
- Marnie Swindells: The court advocate from London, who is also a gold medal-winning boxer, said she has fought “tooth and nail” to be where she is today. Speaking of Lord Sugar, she said: “I think that taking the experience I have in the boxing industry and all the experience that he has in the business industry, together we would be a winning combination.”
- Megan Hornby: The owner of Sweet Shop and Cafe from east Yorkshire said she has found a “gap in the market” with her business idea and believes with investment it could be “nationally recognised”. She added: “I think that no matter what situation I am thrown into, I will always give 100% truth, even if it’s hard to hear. I always believe that honesty is the most important thing in business.”
- Reece Donnelly: Donnelly, who owns a theatre school in Glasgow, said he is the youngest chief executive of a further education college in the UK and is set on becoming the first Scottish candidate to win the show. He said: “I’m here to prove that Scotland is filled with forward-thinking entrepreneurs and that we are not in fact a haggis-eating, kilt-wearing nation.”
- Rochelle Anthony: Bedfordshire hair salon owner Anthony said she prides herself on being a “tenacious, fierce, and determined businesswoman.” She added: “I deserve Lord Sugar’s investment because I know the hair industry like the back of my hand and Lord Sugar knows business. Together, we would be an absolute force to be reckoned with.”
- Shannon Martin: West Yorkshire bridal boutique owner Martin is hoping her first business partner will be Lord Sugar. She said: “I think it’s a really good opportunity for him; he’s never been in the bridal business before.”
- Shazia Hussain: Technology recruiter Hussain, from London, said her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder means she can process information “faster than others” and her reaction time is “quicker”. She added: “It’s important to see a varied representation of women, including women with neurodiversity in business… I hope that I’ll encourage more people like me not to be ashamed of their difference.”
- Simba Rwambiwa: The senior sales representative from Birmingham is a self-confessed “perfectionist” who always wants to get things right. He added: “If people can’t buy into you, they’ll never buy anything from you.”
- Sohail Chowdhary: Southampton-based martial arts instructor and school owner Chowdhary said he is “proud” to have been raised in a council house but has had to “fight hard” to achieve his success. He said: “I am calm and collected but if they do come at me? I will bite and I will sting and I will leave my mark.”
- Victoria Goulbourne: Former flight attendant Goulbourne, from Merseyside, started her online sweet business, which became a social media success, during lockdown. She said: “I know what consumers want. I’ve travelled all over the world and am not afraid to take on a challenge.”