A rejected Dragons’ Den candidate is among the new contestants for this year’s The Apprentice.
Series 18 of The Apprentice also sees a pie supplier to Manchester City, a woman who decided at the age of 13 she would be a millionaire and a musician who released the single Body Groove compete for Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment on the BBC One show.
Asif Munaf, a doctor, appeared in other BBC business show Dragons’ Den looking for a £50,000 investment for a 10% stake in his company Date Smoothie – and was told by entrepreneur Touker Suleyman “you’re not a businessman”.
Dragon panel member and entrepreneur Peter Jones told Mr Munaf he would “rather” he saved lives by staying in his profession as a doctor before he also declared himself “out” in 2018.
For The Apprentice, Munaf, from Sheffield, said he started his wellness brand by working 12-hour shifts as a doctor during the Covid pandemic.
The doctor, who describes himself as having “beauty, brains, body and business” on his CV, said the smoothie brand was his biggest fail as it “was far too early but I learnt some great business insights from the Dragons”.
Also in the line-up for the series, made up of 18 candidates, is pharmacist and business owner Amina Khan, who boasts a turnover of £1 million for her skincare and supplements brand.
Ms Khan, from Ilford, said: “When I was 13 years old, I remember sitting in school one day and made a pact to myself that I would do whatever it takes to become a millionaire.
“Having grown up in an underprivileged background with two immigrant parents trying to make ends meet, I have been relentlessly grinding since then to get to where I am today.”
Also appearing is pie company director Paul Bowen from Lancashire.
When asked for his biggest success, he said: “Securing a deal with Manchester City Football Club and supplying them with pies for the past five years.”
Another upcoming candidate, dentist Paul Midha, boasts he had a Britain’s Got Talent audition for body-popping and was an extra in Disney Channel series The Evermoor Chronicles.
Mr Midha, from Leeds, said: “After graduating as a dentist, I diligently saved a 20% deposit upon the acquisition of my first dental practice and invested every resource, leaving just £100 in my account, and dedicated myself to the practice.
“Over 15 months of unwavering dedication, the practice’s valuation soared to an astounding £900,000 — an exceptional growth of over five times its initial value.”
Tre Lowe, originally called Paul Akabah, named his garage music group Architechs, who had the number three hit Body Groove ft Nay Nay and a top 20 chart song Show Me The Money as his “enduring business legacy”.
The London musician and businessman said: “There is something truly special about creative success, it goes way beyond just the financials.
“Though my brother (Ashley Akabah) is no longer alive – the music we made in this partnership certainly is and will impact future generations too.”
His brother died in 2020 aged 49, according to Music Week.
Lowe said he gave up DJing due to “severe tinnitus” and then chose to create a personal training and wellbeing business.
He said: “People think I am a cool dude but underneath all of that, I am a super-geek. I have always had a fascination with how things work.
“One of my dreams as a child was to be in those big red Britannica Encyclopaedia volumes, alongside the likes of Galileo, Newton, and Tesla.”
Other contestants include Manchester project manager Foluso Falade, Bristol recruitment director Jack Davies, Irish yoga company owner Maura Rath, Bognor Regis pie company owner Phil Turner and Leicester music producer Virdi Singh Mazaria.
The Apprentice airs on February 1 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.