Alana Spencer says young start in business helped her win the Apprentice

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 Alana over Courtney Wood, who runs a novelty gift company, in Sunday night’s final.

Alana 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 Alana 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 from 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, Alana said she “did leave him a box” and is “hoping he has tried it”.

Sunday night’s finale saw Alana and Courtney 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 tasked with creating a brand for their business and unveiling an advertising campaign before being summoned to the boardroom.

Courtney said he was “genuinely happy” for Alana, adding: “I couldn’t ask to be runner-up to a nicer girl.”

More in this Section

Laura Whitmore reveals inspiration behind screenwriting debutLaura Whitmore reveals inspiration behind screenwriting debut

Lorraine Kelly: ‘I don’t think I’m a celebrity – I just happen to have a job on TV’Lorraine Kelly: ‘I don’t think I’m a celebrity – I just happen to have a job on TV’

Frozen star Idina Menzel to entertain young fans on CBeebiesFrozen star Idina Menzel to entertain young fans on CBeebies

Stormzy tells how tech failure made Glastonbury show the ‘most difficult thing’Stormzy tells how tech failure made Glastonbury show the ‘most difficult thing’


Well first and foremost, it depends what type of cold you have, as Prudence Wade discovers.Should you exercise when you’ve got a cold?

Make like a Masterchef contestant with this sophisticated dessert.How to make Marcus Wareing’s milk chocolate, raspberry and thyme tart

Waste not, want not – this one’s all about using things up.How to make Marcus Wareing’s panzanella

With fresh produce in abundance, this Balkan state is becoming a top destination for foodies. Jonjo Maudsley gets stuck in.Get beyond Belgrade to taste the authentic side of Serbia

More From The Irish Examiner