The Apprentice 2011. No job at the end, but a £250,000 investment

In the present period of financial recovery this year’s candidates face a series of gruelling tasks, and this year the bar has been raised as each task is based on a start up business, designed to push their skills to the limit. They are risking it all by leaving what they know behind and venturing into unfamiliar territory as they fight to launch their plan with his business backing and unequivocal guidance.
Failure is not an option and mistakes will not be forgiven as Lord Sugar wastes no time in telling his potential business partners how the hunt for a new partnership will work: “I’m going to inject £250,000 worth of cash and value into a business, your business, and you’re going to run it. And I say you’re going to run it because don’t expect me to be doing all the work because I’m not looking for a “sleeping” partner.”
Sugar goes on to tell them that: “I’m not Saint Alan, the patron saint of bloody losers… You can look at it as a bit of an uncivil partnership, so to speak. I want you to treat this first task as if it’s your own business. Here’s something to note, this is an investment, and I want some return on my money.”
With the stakes set higher than ever, Lord Sugar and his eagle eyed advisors Nick Hewer and Karren Brady will each week be watching how the candidates perform in 12 challenging tasks.
The candidates’ CVs reveal: an inventor, a business psychologist, a former cycling champion, an estate agent, an accountant and entrepreneurs in fields as varied as creative arts, organic skincare and fast food.
Although the candidates will live in a lavish mansion and be given a taste of the high-flying life they dream of, the weeks ahead will be anything but glamorous as they roll up their tailored sleeves and embark upon weeks of hard graft with only one of them emerging triumphant.  
Episode one follows the candidates as they are split into two teams, each team being tasked to invest £250 in fresh fruit and vegetables in a battle to make the highest return. The candidates must buy the produce, add value to it and sell it to the public under the strict scrutiny of Nick and Karren. The decision of how to spend their money is theirs but only one factor will be considered in the first boardroom showdown – who has made the biggest return on Lord Sugar’s investment?
Series seven will see personalities clash and tempers soar as the cut-throat competition gets tougher with every task. With each task based on a business start-up, the potential apprentices will design a mobile phone application, be tested in the beauty industry, create new pet food, launch a magazine, explore the lucrative possibilities of biscuits, transform rubbish into money, start a restaurant chain and trade internationally.
For these elite professionals it is make or break time in the most daunting challenges they will ever face. With gripping boardroom showdowns and determined candidates, this series promises to be the most intense and unpredictable yet.
The money is on the table and the boss is in the boardroom but who will win to become this year’s Apprentice?
See the female candidates here
See the male candidates here