Meet The Apprentice 2022 candidates including a Nicki Minaj superfan

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Lord Alan Sugar and his fire-happy finger are back for another series of slick suits and cutthroat competition in season 16 of The Apprentice.

With 16 entrepreneurs set to battle it out for an eye-watering £250,000 investment in their business, the pressure is on.

As ever, the eager-to-please hopefuls are nothing but dispensable to the tycoon, who is once again expected to be keeping local cabbies in business as he sends contestants home in their droves.

After tasks are completed, contestants will have to face the music in the boardroom and make their case for survival in an attempt to avoid the suitcase roll of doom.

The Apprentice will be back on your screens Thursday, January 6, on BBC and iPlayer from 9 pm.

Read on to meet the season 16 contestants.

The Apprentice 2022 cast

Aaron Willis, 38

Occupation: Flight Operations Instructor

After 12 years in the RAF, Aaron Willis began his own security business. He's done it all, having worked as a milkman, horseman and butcher.

“My strongest point is that I can sell, to anybody and I think that’s the reason why my business will be a success, because people will buy from me.”

Akeem Bundu-Kamara, 29

Occupation: Strategy Manager For a Financial Firm

People's person Akeem Bundu-Kamara is analytical about his every move, leading to a “calculated point of view”.

“My growing up has made me who I am, I’m able to converse with everyone, but also be able to show that financial, business side to myself.”

Akshay Thakrar, 28

Occupation: Owner, Digital Marketing Agency

A “waste of time” is the way Londoner Akshay Thakrar describes sleeping. He didn't feel this way about learning languages though – he speaks seven.

For him, there is only one mission in life – to make cold hard cash. His ability to speak so many tongues means he can “sell anything, to anyone.”

“My friends call me AK47 because I’m a killer salesperson.”

Alex Short, 27

Occupation: Owner, Commercial Cleaning Company

Looking to take the commercial cleaning business by storm, Alex Short from the home counties is “not going to stop” until he gets to where he needs to be.

“I would compare myself to a Ferrari, shiny on the outside but under the bonnet, there is a lot of fire and I’m coming for you.”

Amy Anzel, 48

48 – Owner, Beauty Brand

She's worked in sales, showbiz and jingles – but now Amy Anzel has finally found her calling by starting a beauty business.

The self-described “tough boss” doesn't muck about when it comes to business.

“I can be nice when I need to be, but when I unfortunately have to be a bitch, I will…”

Brittany Carter, 25

Occupation: Hotel Front of House Manager

Bristol's Brittany Carter is another people person on the list who takes her positive outlook with her everywhere she goes.

She's here to learn but back herself to get to the final round.

“My motto for life is ‘always look on the bright side and be grateful for everything’– every day when I wake up, I write 10 things that I am grateful for and when I go to sleep, I reflect on 5 things I am grateful for from that day.”

Conor Gilsenan, 28

Occupation: Sales Executive and former Professional Rugby Player

“Hyper-motivated by money”, Conor Gilsenan has a record for getting deals done and reckons he's going all the way to glory.

“I’m going to be the corporate panther in the boardroom, I’ m going to get it done, and I’m going to be Lord Sugar’s perfect business partner.”

Francesca Kennedy Wallbank, 26

Occupation: Owner, Sustainability Company

Surrey heralding Maths grad Francesca Kennedy Wallbank is eco-conscious and looking to get her business going.

She has created an equation that will allow her to run a carbon footprint service for business.

“There are two types of people in the world – there’s people that say they are going to do things and people that actually do them, and I’m a doer.”

Harry Mahmood, 35

Occupation: Regional Operations Manager

Describing himself as “the Asian version of Lord Sugar”, Harry Mahmood wants to help and support people.

He is inspired by the kindness of his grandparents.

“Everything I’ve looked into achieving, I’ve achieved. I’ve literally done everything I’ve put my mind to.”

Harpreet Kaur, 30

Occupation: Owner, Dessert Parlour

Looking to "level-up" her already six-figure coffee and cake firm, West Yorkshire entrepreneur Harpreet Kaur aspires to be the best version of herself she can.

“I’m definitely not in business to make friends, I’m here to make money, and I’m pretty sure Lord Sugar isn’t looking for a new mate.”

Kathryn Louise Burn, 29

Occupation: Owner, Online Pyjama Store

Looking to fulfil ambitious plans in the nightwear world, Kathryn Louise Burn wants her kit "worn by everyone".

“My dreams in my head are absolutely huge and I believe I can achieve them.”

Navid Sole, 27

Occupation: Pharmacist

Nicki Minaj superfan Navid Sole wants to get his own pharmacy business up and running.

He plans to stay true to himself through the process and describes himself as quirky and unique.

“Nothing intimidates me because I just feel like I’m a strong character, strong person, strong mindset.”

Nick Showering, 31

Occupation: Finance Manager

Looking to cast out on his own after “working in the shadow of his family’s business”, Nick Showering wants to make a name in the flavoured water game.

He plans to knock out the competition by killing them with kindness.

“In business, I’m a bit of a force to be reckoned with. I know what I’m talking about, I know how things work, and I’m extremely experienced. So, I’m a bit of an animal in the boardroom.”

Sophie Wilding, 32

Occupation: Owner, Boutique Cocktail Bar

From salesperson to business person, Sophie Wilding describes herself as magical and enchanting. She has a positive attitude and qualifications from witch school.

“Failure is not an option, winning is part of my DNA.”

Shama Amin, 41

Occupation: Owner, Children’s Day Nursery

Mother of five Shama Amin describes herself as loyal, outspoken and determined. She's been waiting for this moment since she was small and is keen to prove she has “skillset that is required to be one of the best, successful businesswomen in the early years sector.”

“Being a lady of colour, wearing a headscarf as well, and the challenges that we face on a daily basis, I just want to be a living example for the Asian women and South Asian women out there.”

Stephanie Afflek, 28

Occupation: Owner, Online Children’s Store

Brutally honest, confident and decisive, Stephanie Afflek is looking for support and funding for her online children's store.

She wants to make a difference by contributing to the preloved fashion industry.

“I’m an East London girl, and I’ve got that no-nonsense sort of work ethic. I’ve got grit, determination and I’m determined to be successful.”

  • The Apprentice
  • Alan Sugar
  • BBC

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