Lord Alan Sugar’s found a new way to entice wannabe business superstars onto the hit BBC show The Apprentice. He’s offering the winner a £250,000 pot of start-up gold to help get their own commercial venture off the ground.
That’s a massive cash injection which will spare the lucky winner from the cash flow headaches suffered by so many trying to set up their own businesses. The successful candidate won’t have to worry about raising capital through loans or grants, or go chasing after invoice factoring deals or overdrafts to secure their cash flow.
Previously the winning Apprentice has been offered a £100,000 a year job in one of Lord Sugar’s companies. This new approach, of funding and a partnership is, according to the BBC website, down to Sugar’s desire to “show the general public that you can start a business from scratch.”
Securing business funding is often hard work
Of course, all The Apprentice candidates will have to work hard for their chance to grab that quarter of a million. Fans have become used to seeing the brash, opinionated and ambitious participants dropped into all sorts of different commercial situations, often without much of a parachute.
That they survive, and often thrive, is testament to their flair and acumen. One of the attractions of the show, other than watching arrogant young people often floundering out of their depth, is that it teaches lessons in business. The observant viewer can learn a huge amount about what does, and does not, work in the commercial world.
With so much on offer to the Apprentice winner this time around, it’ll be interesting to see the type of candidates initially selected, and how they fare. Not only must they demonstrate an ability to make money, they must also have an extra ingredient: a unique business idea of their own.
One thing’s for certain. One of the 16 candidates starting the show will solve their working capital problems by winning. The other 15, if they want to pursue their dreams, will have to continue the search for potential investors, invoice factoring facilities, or commercial loans.
The next series of the hit BBC business-cum-reality TV show, The Apprentice 2011, launches onto our screens on Monday 10th May.