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Winning the Apprentice Doesn’t Mean You’ll Be a Financial Success

Posted: 18th December 2017 by Finance Monthly
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Creditsafe Group, the global business intelligence expert, has found that despite a significant investment from Lord Alan Sugar, past winners of the show still have a relatively low net worth and poor credit rating.

Over the last five years the winners net worth, credit score and credit limit have decreased on average by 73%, with credit scores falling from 87 to 64 and credit limits reduced from £46,000 to £2,000, according to Creditsafe data.

Analysing the figures on its database, Creditsafe discovered that none of the winning candidates in the last five years have doubled the £250,000 investment made by Lord Sugar, with the most recent winner Alana Spencer’s net economic position valued at just £7,538 with a £2,000 credit limit. In comparison, the 2012 winner, Richard Martin has a £325,789 net worth and a £46,000 credit limit.

In addition, businesses of past Apprentice winners appear to have prospered once the candidate had stepped aside. Alresford founded by Tom Pellereau (2011 winner), Aston Rowant in which Lee Mcqueen (2008 winner) was a director and London Contemporary Orchestra Limited where Simon Ambrose (2007 winner) was a director, saw a significant uplift in credit score and credit limit when the Apprentice winners stepped away. For example, Tom Pellereau resigned on 15/12/2011 from Alresford when the credit score was 43 and the credit limit was £500, the business now has a credit score of 80 and a credit limit of £1,000.

David Walters, Head of Content & Technology at Creditsafe UK & Ireland, said: “There is a misconception that once a candidate wins the Apprentice, they will have immediate success in business. We can see from the data that this isn’t always the case. While the past five winners are all profitable, there is no evidence to suggest the partnership with Lord Sugar provides any further financial security past the initial investment. It will be interesting to see who wins on Sunday night and how they perform in comparison to the previous winners over the next few years.”

2016 winner Alana Spencer Y 1 £7,538 £2,000 0 64
2015 winner Joseph Valente N 3 £140,701 £8,666* 1 63*
2014 winner Mark Wright Y 2 £282,277 £34,500* 1 93*
2013 winner Leah Totton Y 1 £356,853 £25,000 0 95
2012 winner Richard Martin Y 1 £325,789 £46,000 0 87


The Apprentice is currently being aired on BBC and is in its thirteenth series. This week Lord Sugar, in a surprising turn of events, chose both finalists, Sarah Lynn and James White, as winners. A first in the TV show’s history.

*Average across all active businesses.

(Source: CreditSafe)

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