After 12 tough weeks of tasks, tears and boardroom tantrums, the winner of The Apprentice 2016 has been revealed – bakery business owner Alana Spencer, who wowed Lord Sugar with her ‘Ridiculously Rich’ sweet treats in tonight’s final.
However, runner-up Courtney Wood (who pitched a new version of his novelty gift company called Purple Whale) says he’s not disappointed by the result – because he reckons he can find a better business deal all on his own thanks to his time on the BBC1 TV series.
“I’d be lying if a little bit of me wasn’t disappointed,” Courtney told RadioTimes.com. “But at the same time I kind of feel like it was a win-win situation.
“I felt like I had an opportunity to show Great Britain what I do. Like, my business plan is my current company, Bubblegumstuff.com. And yeah, I’ve shown like 6-8 million people who Courtney Wood is, what my company does. So I feel like it’s been a great opportunity for me.”
Adding that he had “zero regrets” about his “practically faultless” performance in the final, Courtney says he’s hoping that investment might come from other avenues in future.
“The fact that I’ve not got the investment is not a massive deal – I wanted to win, because I wanted Lord Sugar and his advisors to help turn me into a professional outfit,” he told us.
“I’m confident that [in a future deal] I wouldn’t have to give up 50% for £250,000. I might even be able to get a better deal, so it could be a blessing in disguise, you never know.”
However, Courtney did admit that he’s struggled with managing his business since finishing filming the series, with neither he nor Alana told who’d won the contest until a few days ago.
“It’s been tough because we’ve only just found out the result,” Courtney said. “So I’ve been trying to run my business not knowing if I’ve got that investment on board.
“Not knowing the answer’s just…it’s something that you’re just dying to know. But for me the hardest bit has been trying to set things up next year for my business not knowing if I’ve got £250,000 investment.”
Courtney with his fellow ‘final five’ candidates
Oh well – despite it all, Courtney says he’s coming out of the process smiling.
“[It was] a whole massive positive experience,” he said.
“You know what, I wouldn’t change anything for the world, I’m happy with the result. It would’ve been nice to win, just to be known as the winner of The Apprentice, but I think the fact that I haven’t won opens up other opportunities.
“My options are wide open for what I want to do. I can now maybe get a better deal on an investment, and it means that I can do what I want rather than having to be told what to do.”
Sounds like Lord Sugar should watch out – he may have a new big business rival on the horizon.