The Apprentice 2013: Leah Totton's beauty business plan criticised

Leah Totton (The Apprentice 2013)

The Apprentice 2013 candidate Leah Totton faces a tough questioning from Margaret Mountford on tonight's show.

The former Apprentice aide asks Leah why she should want to go into business with Lord Sugar, given her successful career in the NHS?

Leah is also grilled by Claudine Collins who quizzes her plan to open up a string of medical cosmetic clinics. Claudine asks: “Your whole business is about people being judged on their looks. You are potentially going to make money out of young girls, maybe not feeling good about themselves, so coming in thinking they don’t look good as they are, and want to look like all the celebrities out there.”

Leah is very quick to defend her business plan as she explains: “I’m an extremely moral person. I’m very ethically aware, and I would totally challenge that point. Will Leah manage to convince Lord Sugar’s associates of the merits of her business plan?

Leah isn't the only female to struggle in the interviews, as Luisa Zissman gets into trouble with Mike Soutar when discussing her plan to create a new baking brand.

Mike says, "I’m confused... it talks about you being a manufacturer, as well as a wholesaler, as well as a retailer. Your business plan is half-baked."

Luisa explains: "I think that writing a business plan is definitely not one of my strong points, and face to face I am a lot stronger." Will Luisa manage to talk up her business plan?

Meanwhile, Francesca MacDuff-Varley finds herself being grilled on her career progression and profit figures by Claude, as she explains that she started her first business with £5,000 and taught herself to be a business woman.

When asked about the turnover and profit of one of her current businesses, Francesca fails to remember the exact figures much to Claude’s dismay, as he states “You should know that, you should know your numbers.”

Francesca initially redeems herself by quoting the figures for the second company she runs, but the numbers don’t stack up against the original claim made on her application. Can Francesca convince Lord Sugar’s aides to overlook the error in her figures?

The Apprentice 2013 airs tonight at 9PM on BBC One.

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