The Apprentice winners dumped Lord Sugar after taking his money – and most failed

Some of The Apprentice winners received £250,000 invested in their businesses or acquired Lord Sugar or were allowed to keep his money

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The Moment Sir Alan Sugar Chosen The Apprentice of 2015, Joseph Valente

Doing business with Lord Sugar isn’t for everyone – as many winners in The Apprentice quickly find out.

The scheme’s first winners, who have spent weeks battling it out in the world’s toughest job interview, are vying for a £100,000-a-year job for one of many companies. his.

But after a particularly awkward situation with a winner in 2010, which led to an unsuccessful attempt to sue Lord Sugar for wrongful dismissal, the goals were changed.

The following year the award changed to a massive £250,000 investment in their business for a 50% stake in the company, as well as his own guidance and help from his team of experts. that.

A few have gone on to build rich business empires, including Tom Pellereau, Ricky Martin, Leah Totton, Mark Wright, Sara Lynn, Sian Gabbidon, and Carina Lepore.

While a few decided that they no longer needed support and parted with the business tycoon.

Below is information on the business partners that split from Lord Sugar and why.

Joseph Valente – Series 11 (2015)

Joseph received a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar in 2015



He went from bankruptcy to boom when he opened two businesses in a stalemate



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Joseph Valente split from Lord Sugar just two years after investing £250,000 in his plumbing business.

Joseph vowed to take full control of ImpraGas – but they parted ways for friendly reasons.

At the time, Lord Sugar said: “I will remain available for necessary help and advice. I wish Joseph and ImpraGas all the best for the future and will monitor their progress with much affection. have a cold.”

Apprentice’s boss relinquished his interest in the company, with Joseph buying back his shares and taking full control of the business.

Joseph added: “I am so grateful for all that Lord Sugar has done for me and I could not have asked for a better partner in the early stages of my business career.

“I owe him a lot. I am confident that with the winning business model we created together, I can continue to grow the business successfully.”

Joseph beat Vana Koutsomitis to take the winning spot in 2015


PA wire)

In the summer of 2020, he was forced to sell his boiler installation business amid reports that the company owed creditors almost £2 million.

ImpraGas was sold for an undisclosed amount, securing employment, but shell company VBH Assets, co-owned by Joseph, voluntarily liquidated, owed £1.9 million to creditors.

Joseph has spoken about his battle with depression and public shame following the company’s failure, but said it made him even more determined.

Joseph told MirrorOnline: “It affected me so much, I was very depressed for a few months, and one day I woke up thinking, ‘There’s no way I’m going to let this destroy me’.

“I’ve got my credibility and reputation to rebuild.”

He’s starting from scratch and his course to support new and existing businesses on how to grow, Trade Mastermind and Power2Succeed, is going from strength to strength.

Alana Spencer – Series 12 (2016)

Alana Spencer won The Apprentice in 2016



Alana has put £250,000 into her baking business Ridicical Rich, and set up an ambassador scheme with Lord Sugar.

She exclusively told Mirror TV that her revenue had grown from £100,000 to an expected £450,000 in a year thanks to winning The Apprentice.

The Queen of Pastries acquired a stake in Lord Sugar and became the sole owner and director of the company in 2019.

Alan said that the knowledge and advice he and his team provided her in the early stages was “priceless”.

Lord Sugar with Apprentice winner Alana Spencer at Olympia Food Show in London


Philip Coburn)

“A little while ago I had the wonderful opportunity to acquire Lord Sugar from Ridiculous Rich and take full control of my business,” she explained on social media.

“It’s been an exciting, crazy, scary few months while the final details are being agreed and sorted out, but for which I am very grateful.”

She added: “Working with Lord Sugar has been an incredible experience and I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time. I’m so grateful for his time on Ridiculous Rich by Alana .”

Good luck, Lord Sugar said: “I will follow Alana’s progress with much affection.”

James White – Series 13 (2017)

James White and Sarah Lynn both won in 2017



Lord Sugar couldn’t decide a winner in 2017, so in an unprecedented move, he picked both James White and Sarah Lynn.

Admitting he’s always been a gambler in the business, Lord Sugar said: “This year in particular, I’m going to double my investment… I’m going to start a business with both of you.”

That year he invested a total of £500,000, with half in James’s IT recruitment company and the other half in Sarah’s confectionery.

Sarah’s personalized sweets company, Sweets in the City, has flourished since Lord Sugar joined as a partner and is currently stocked at Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

James in the interview stage


BBC / Freemantle Media)

But it’s been a tougher road for ‘Del Boy’ James, who is said to have suffered a series of ‘unfortunate setbacks’ and lost £30,000 in the first six months of his IT recruiting firm, Right Time Recruitment.

In December 2020, it was revealed that James and Lord Sugar had split but The Apprentice boss is said to have let him keep the money he had invested.

“I wish James all the best for the future and will watch his progress with interest,” Lord Sugar said in a statement.

James added: “I am so grateful for all that Lord Sugar has done for me. The knowledge and advice gained from Lord Sugar and his team is invaluable. ”

* The Apprentice airs tonight on BBC One at 9pm

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