The wait is finally over. After a grueling 11 weeks, Luisa Zissman and Leah Totton remain in the fight to become Lord Sugar's business partner — and it's time for them to face their toughest challenge yet.For their last task, the two Apprentice finalists must launch their proposed businesses, with a little help from some of the past contestants.Leah and Luisa are summoned to venue One Marylebone, the location for the final showdown, where Lord Sugar sets out the task at hand.
CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE FULL GALLERY
"Well, you two have done very, very well getting through to the final, and now, ladies, this is your opportunity to convince me you should be my business partner. Because your final task this week is, I want you to launch your business."You're going to come up with a brand, a website and a launch campaign, and it is here, in a few days time, you're going to present that to me, together with industry experts…"First of all, the two girls must pick which of the former contestants they want to join their team. Luisa quickly secures Neil, but Leah manages to bag all of Luisa's other first choices for her team."Leah has taken all the strong players, but as long as I can communicate my vision to them, I'm certain we can get it done," Luisa says. "I think I edge it slightly over Leah from a branding, website building, pitching perspective, so she perhaps does need a stronger team around her."
Leah is joined by Francesca MacDuff-Varley, Alex Mills, Myles Mordaunt and Uzma Yakoob, while Luisa's team comprises of Neil, Zeeshaan Shah, Jason Leech and Natalie Panayi.The following morning, work begins on building the brands for their business concepts. Luisa tells her colleagues, "My business idea is to create a new baking brand, so cake tins, utensils, colours. We are a wholesale company, a traditional wholesale model."Leah, meanwhile, explains to her team, "It's a medical cosmetic clinic, and I want to start a chain across the UK. We'll be offering anti-ageing treatments, anti-wrinkle injections, facial fillers, and it will be a professional, ethical service and that's what I'm really, really keen to get across."When it comes to crafting the brand, Luisa decides she wants to be the face of her company and chooses pastel pink as the principle colour for both the logo and product packaging.After conducting market research, Neil and Natalie advise her that customers might be more attracted to bold colours, and suggest that she 'stay away from the girly feel' of her gender specific pink. But will she go with the market research or stick with her instincts?
Leah, meanwhile, works hard with Alex and Myles to create the perfect logo for her company, and impresses aide Karren Brady with her focus and decisiveness. "From the crack of dawn this morning, Leah had very firm ideas about branding and website and logo," she comments.
"She's been very calm, very decisive, very clear about what she wants to achieve for the brand. She's gone very corporate, very safe, it's medical. The only problem is, it's a bit bland."On the third day of the task, the teams head off to make final preparations before pitching their business launch campaigns to 100 industry experts and Lord Sugar himself.Nick Hewer comments that while Luisa should be busy perfecting her pitch, she is instead frosting cupcakes for the event. Following her final presentation, Luisa is asked about her expected profit in five years time — after starting to respond, she stops and says, 'Do you know what, I can't answer that, I'd be lying."The devastated hopeful cries backstage after her pitch, and has to be comforted by her team mates.
After her presentation, Leah is forced to rigorously defend her business idea when quizzed by an audience member why she has only focused on three areas of treatment and told, "I don't think you understand the market quite as well as you think you do."But which one has done enough to convince Lord Sugar to invest £250,000 of his money in their business? 16 candidates. Two finalists. One investment. Lord Sugar's search for his business partner is almost over…The Apprentice Final airs at 8pm on Wednesday 17th July on BBC One.