For the latest generation of budding entrepreneurs, it seems there is one thing more important than business know-how – a social media profile.
Many of this year’s band of hopefuls battling it out in The Apprentice appear to spend as much time posting selfies as sharpening their management skills.
Perhaps that is because the new series features a very youthful line-up including two 19-year-olds and two aged 20.
Eleven of the 16 contestants are under 30, while the two oldest are a mere 36.
It is also the most glamorous Apprentice ever, led by Venezuelan-born former model Jemelin Artigas, 34, whose social media is bursting with swimwear pictures and a range of sultry poses
Carina Lepore, 30, who runs Dough Artisan Bakehouse, and librarian Lottie Lion, 19, both litter their Instagram page with pictures showing them in tight clothing or skimpy bikinis.
Male candidates such as ice cream firm owner Kenna Ngoma and digital marketing project manager Lewis Ellis are also not shy in showing off their physiques online.
Despite being the youngest contestant, luxury womenswear consultant Ryan-Mark Parsons is a big fan of the Queen and describes himself as ‘a 60-year-old trapped in a teenager’s body’. Other contestants hoping not to hear the dreaded ‘You’re fired’ from Apprentice boss Alan Sugar include a partially-blind athlete and a pillow salesman.
They will compete to win a £250,000 business investment and the chance to have Lord Sugar as their business partner.
The new series of The Apprentice starts on BBC1 on Wednesday, October 2.
THE CLASSY LIBRARIAN
Lottie Lion, 19
Lottie Lion, 19, is a librarian from Somerset.
She describes herself as ‘very cut-throat’. People with bad manners anger her and she gets frustrated when they do not adhere to her high standards.
She says: ‘I bring class to everything and ensure nothing I do is half-standard or tacky.’
Lewis Ellis, 28
Lewis Ellis, 28, a digital marketing project manager from Lancashire, is a self-proclaimed maverick who doesn’t like to follow the rules.
He is confident competitiveness and determination will see him through, saying: ‘I may not be the smartest guy in the room, but I’ll sure as hell work harder.’
Kenna Ngoma, 24
Kenna Ngoma, 24, owns an ice cream company in Manchester.
He was on the books of Manchester City until an injury cut short his football career in 2013.
He founded his ice cream firm, which specialises in alcohol-infused and vegan flavours, last year and says he hopes his enthusiasm and ‘infectious personality’ will help him to befriend the strongest candidates to build alliances for the Apprentice boardroom – although he is ‘ready to win at all costs’.
THE BOLD ATHLETE
Souleyman Bah, 20
Souleyman Bah, 20, is a motivational speaker and Paralympic athlete from south-west London.
Diagnosed with degenerative retina pigmentosa aged six, he says: ‘The less sight I have, the more imagination I gain.’
Inspired by musician Ray Charles, who ‘made blindness cool’, Souleyman – who won gold in the 100m in the Paralympic School of Games in 2015 – says he will be brutally honest and bold.
THE HIGH ACHIEVER
Scarlett Allen-Horton, 32
Scarlett Allen-Horton, 32, owns a recruitment company in the West Midlands.
She says her upbeat personality is a strong asset in winning a business deal and says she aims to work the hardest and the smartest to be the best.
She says: ‘I am an achiever. I have been the highest performer across every workplace I have worked within.’
Carina Lepore, 30
Carina Lepore, 30, is an artisan bakery owner from south London.
She says she is a natural leader and that people latch on to her.
She claims it is ‘written in the stars’ she will be Lord Sugar’s next Apprentice, warning her rivals not to underestimate her because of her south London accent as she knows how to ‘put on a suit and be the full package’.
She says: ‘I’m about 5 ft 1 in tall – I’m like a pocket rocket, you don’t really want to mess with me.’
THE SASSY ECCENTRIC
Iasha Masood, 27
Iasha Masood, 27, is an account manager from Manchester.
She believes her ‘crazy, controversial, eccentric personality’ will make her stand out as the ‘star that shines the brightest’ and hopes that the other candidates will underestimate her, helping her to win.
She aims to keep her ‘enemies’ close and says: ‘I’m one fierce businesswoman with both sass and class’
THE LATIN LIVEWIRE
Jemelin Artigas, 34
Jemelin Artigas, 34, is originally from Venezuela but now a network marketing consultant in south-east London.
From a humble background, the former model considers resilience to be one of her qualities and says: ‘I never have problems… only solutions.’
DIRECT FROM AMERICA
Marianne Rawlins, 36
Marianne Rawlins, 36, owns a risk management consultancy.
A US native, she moved to the UK in 2017 and lives in Stamford, Lincolnshire. She admits she can be too direct so may need to ‘dial down’ her American-ness and take a step back.
MUM ON A MISSION
Lubna Farhan, 33
Lubna Farhan, 33, is a finance manager from Luton and a mother of two.
She lacked role models when growing up on a council estate so decided to become her own. She describes herself as ‘a dark horse’.
Thomas Skinner, 28
Thomas Skinner, 28, from east London, owns a pillow company.
He was selling in markets at 16 and attributes his success to being street-wise, sharp and ‘a chancer’.
Dean Ahmad, 20
Dean Ahmad, 20, from Essex, owns a sports management agency he founded aged 15 and believes he is the ‘definition of an entrepreneur’.
Shahin Hassan, 36
Shahin Hassan, 36, a chartered engineer from Birmingham, claims he ‘thinks outside the box’ and says: ‘I love business more than sharks love blood…I’m ruthless.’
AN OLD HEAD
Ryan-Mark Parsons, 19
Ryan-Mark Parsons, 19, a luxury womenswear consultant from south-east London, is the youngest candidate but claims he is a ‘60-year-old trapped in a teenager’s body’.
THE NICE GUY
Riyonn Farsad, 30
Riyonn Farsad, 30, an events manager from south London, says his personality is his best asset and he has never met anyone who doesn’t get on with him.