This week, our Head of Reviews tackles one of the most popular BBC series at the moment, The Apprentice. The process which takes place over eleven week, with sixteen candidates whittled down in the chance to become Lord Sugar’s next business partner. Over a very much contested few weeks, the series is concluding in a finale with two female candidates, Harpreet Kaur and Kathryn Louise Burn.
If you’ve never seen the show, The Apprentice is a British reality game show where selected candidates compete in business-related challenges in the hopes of impressing Alan Sugar and ultimately winning his £250,000 investment. The challenges can range from creating and marketing a video game, to hosting corporate away-days, and even making and selling baby food, all with the aim of generating profit and proving the candidates’ business acumen.
This year it is confirmed the winner will be female, with candidates Harpreet and Kathryn as the last ones standing. Both businesswomen have demonstrated their professional skills throughout the process with numerous tasks won under their leadership. Both, then, are worthy of winning the investment prize money.
But what are their business plans?
Hoping to expand her established desserts business, Harpreet is looking to use Lord Sugar’s investment to grow the company she owns alongside her sister, based in West Yorkshire – named Barni’s Desserts. Upon initial inspection, Barni’s Desserts is going up against some big companies of the same concept; think Kaspa’s for example.
With waffles, crepes, donuts, brownies, cakes, sundaes, and milkshakes to name a few of Barni’s Desserts items, their extensive menu could certainly challenge industry competitors if given more investment. Whether they have enough of a USP to become a leading UK brand however, remains to be questioned.
Kathryn Louise Burn
Going down the retail path, Kathryn’s business is an online company named My Everyday Pyjamas, selling matching pyjama sets for the whole family. Intended for men, women, girls, boys, babies and even dogs, it seems there truly is a pyjama set for everyone in this brand. Yet the concern for Lord Sugar in this business, is profit. Estimated to lose money in the first two years, Kathryn’s proposal lacks appeal in its current state. If successful, a big revaluation would be needed for this Swindon-based company to ensure higher profit margins are achievable, deeming it a worthwhile investment for Lord Sugar.
Overall, both business plans have huge potential, which would be elevated more so under the guidance and investment of the corporate magnate and TV host.
Will Harpreet’s desserts be deemed unique enough to warrant a £250,000 investment?
Can Kathryn improve her business plan to guarantee it generates profit?
We’ll find the answers to these questions and more on next week’s finale episode of The Apprentice series sixteen. Either way, investing in a businesswoman with proven credentials, drive, and skill will be a sure success for Lord Sugar, making a small but necessary step in getting more women into high-level business roles and working towards a more level playing field in the corporate world.
Make sure to catch the final episode on Thursday at 9pm on BBC One.