Home Business News The Apprentice final 2013: Leah v/s Luisa – One L of a final!

The Apprentice final 2013: Leah v/s Luisa – One L of a final!

by LLB Editor
18th Jul 13 10:37 am

Melody Hossaini became the first and only ever social entrepreneur to appear on The Apprentice and got to week 10 of 12 in 2011. She’s the Founder and CEO of InspirEngage International. Read her latest Apprentice blog

Epic final of The Apprentice with two female finalists! One thing was for sure- the winner would be female and her name would begin with L.

In week two, I wrote the article ‘The Future is Female – Big Hair don’t Care’ as a response to people who were slating the female contestants saying they couldn’t possibly be taken seriously with bouncy long hair and glossy lips – well, you were wrong.

The female contestants in The Apprentice, along with other business women out there, prove time and time again that society is wrong to judge women’s abilities based on what meets the eye. We’re working to combat this with Startup and Stilettos – The Future is Female!

In the blue corner you had Leah Totton, a qualified doctor with a business idea to open clinics offering non-surgical beauty treatments within a medical environment and in the (very!) pink corner was Luisa Zissman with Baker’s Toolkit – an exciting new venture to provide supplies to bakers.

Luisa with her big personality (and sometimes very controversial statements) was a candidate with high-energy and a hunger for success. Leah had a different feel about her, more controlled, professional and perhaps a little boring. At one point I tweeted saying: Does anyone else feel like its academia Vs charisma?’

Luisa has an attractive and bubbly personality, whereas when it comes to business, Leah was actually the safer choice – you know what you’re going to get, even though the industry is high-risk.

I also thought that Leah was the natural choice since Lord Sugar has already invested in Susan and Tom (from my series) who are both in the beauty industry. Also for a serial entrepreneur like Lord Sugar, you’ll always look for ways in which you can leverage your different businesses.

Not surprised about them changing the name NIKS though – possibly the worst name ever! Dr Leah Clinics is a lot better! I wish Leah all the best.

As we’ve now come to an end of The Apprentice 2013, I am reflecting on another series. Recently,InspirEngage International joined other social enterprises to campaign for BBC to put social enterprise at the heart of programmes like The Apprentice. Just take a moment and imagine a line up of 16 candidates who are driven and who have the ability to make money. But at the same time, they are passionate about helping people and care about measuring social impact as much as they care about profits. That’s what a social entrepreneur is.

In 2011, I became the first ever social entrepreneur to appear on The Apprentice. Two years on, and 32 candidates later, it’s extremely disappointing to see that no other social entrepreneurs have been added to the line-up.

Figures now show that social enterprises have “three-times the start-up rate of the mainstream SME sector”. I’ve been saying for a long time now – that social enterprise really is THE business model for the future and it’s extremely exciting to be a part of this growth.

All of InspirEngage International’s efforts right now are geared towards facilitating the growth of social enterprise. Through Social Enterprise Revolution we’re helping schools, colleges and universities to build social enterprise into their curriculum over a one year academic programme- as well as this, we’re co-hosting an International Youth Job Creation Summit in September with our focus being social enterprise. We are also launching the first ever female-only vocational training institution in Saudi Arabia in September helping women into jobs and business.

The Apprentice is back in 2014 for another series (and it may be the last)- I’m not asking that they simply add a few social entrepreneurs to the line-up (that just wouldn’t be ambitious enough)- but instead we are calling for a mainstream programme that is focused on social enterprise and allows people to learn about doing business for a good cause.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the final, InspirEngage International and social enterprise! Tweet us on @Melody_Hossaini and @InspirEngage. Any specific enquiries, please email: [email protected]

Leave a Commment


Sign up to our daily news alerts

[ms-form id=1]