Monday 16 September 2019

Apprentice's Alana Spencer says starting business aged just 17 helped in contest

Alana Spencer toasts her Apprentice win with Lord Sugar
Alana Spencer toasts her Apprentice win with Lord Sugar

Apprentice winner Alana Spencer has said launching her business when she was just 17 helped her in the battle to win Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment.

The business magnate revealed he had a sweet tooth with his decision to go into business with cake company owner Spencer over Courtney Wood, who runs a novelty gift company, in Sunday night's final.

Spencer started her company at school, selling home made chocolate to teachers before moving into cakes.

She told the Press Association the win was "incredible" and "hasn't quite sunk in".

The 24-year-old had unsuccessfully applied for the Junior Apprentice show seven years ago when she launched her company.

Lord Sugar was just 16 when he set up his own business and Spencer said her own determination as a teenager worked in her favour.

She said: "I think he admires people that go out and do it for themselves.

"Most of us had our own businesses but I think the fact I started so young was definitely a factor in it.

"It's mad. I started it when I was in school. It started as a chocolate company and then developed into cakes.

"I left school to do it. It just organically changed from chocolates to cakes.

"It's gone strength to strength and it's a good small business but I really want to make it a big business and what better way to do that than get Lord Sugar on board."

Asked if Lord Sugar had tried her cakes, Spencer said she "did leave him a box" and was "hoping he has tried it".

Sunday night's finale saw Spencer and Wood joined by a number of their former Apprentice colleagues as they pitched their business plans to more than 200 industry experts including Lord Sugar.

They were are tasked with creating a brand for their business and unveiling an advertising campaign before being summoned to the boardroom.

Wood said he was "genuinely happy" for Spencer, adding: "I couldn't ask to be runner-up to a nicer girl."

PA Media

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