From the top · 11 November 2015

The Apprentice’s 2015 candidates have already set up seven businesses since filming finished

Seven new businesses have been set up by contestants on this year's series of The Apprentice since filming wrapped up
Seven new businesses have been set up by contestants on this year’s series of The Apprentice since filming wrapped up

Since The Apprentice wrapped up filming in the spring of 2015, candidates featuring on the eleventh series have been busy setting up new firms.

Research from Creditsafe has revealed that seven new companies have been started by candidates since June 2015 – including Ruth Whiteley’s RuthAnna Limited, a seller of Arbonne products. She was fired in week four of the show. Other businesses included April Jackson’s Three Little Birds Limited, Mergim Butaja’s International Business Acquisitions Limited and David Stevenson’s Dream Walk Ltd.

All the new businesses have stable credit ratings, with none currently being rated as a high credit risk.

While the outcome of the programme is still yet to be revealed, the research showed candidates’ entrepreneurial pursuits across the board hadn’t been dampened as a result of the programme.

This has become something of a pattern for former The Apprentice contestants – Luisa Zissman was the runner up for series nine and went on to launch The Baker Shop, selling cake decorating products and bakeware. Creditsafe said she was 2014’s most searched for female company director in the UK on its system.

At least 13 of the 15 2015 candidates currently hold the position of, or have been, company director, though the analysis revealed their fortunes had been wide-ranging. Some appointments lasted a couple of months while others had long-lasting tenures with solid track records.

Joseph Valente, the owner of a plumbing business, who called himself “the definition of success” and named Hugh Hefner as one of his role models, was one of the candidates with a stable record. He founded his Impra Gas Ltd firm in February 2012, with the company boasting a healthy credit rating and estimated net worth of £45,258.

Meanwhile, Dan Callaghan, who was booted off the programme in the first week, was the director of three dissolved companies. Creditsafe added that CPL Limited, where he is currently listed as a director, has shareholder funds recorded at -£54,204.

Having an unremarkable or unimpressive business record hasn’t been the decisive factor for Sugar deciding on the winner in the past though. In 2011, Tom Pellereau was crowned winner of the seventh series of The Apprentice, and had co-founded M&P Consulting in 2008 which had turned over £500 the year before he won, with a net worth of -£15,597.

Rachel Mainwaring, operations director at Creditsafe UK, said: The fact that so many candidates have started new businesses reveals their desire to succeed even if they were rejected by Lord Sufar.”

She added that while candidates will be “basking in publicity from the show”, business owners should conduct due diligence before trading with their companies.

“It is important to check the financial health and payment history of any company to minimise the risk of trading with a firm that doesn’t pay its bills on time or is at risk of going under.”

Photo: BBC

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Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.