Press Office

Thursday 27 Nov 2014

Press Packs

The Apprentice: meet the girls

Joanna Riley

Joanna Riley


Leicestershire born Joanna rose from humble beginnings to corporate success with her Midlands based cleaning company after setting up the business at the age of 22. Joanna, whose first job was as a hotel waitress, later moved into telecommunications at a call centre where she called every Leicester-based business in the Yellow Pages until she eventually decided to become her own boss. She describes herself as 'honest, direct and funny' and is inspired by her twin sons.

She says: "Don't complicate business. Keep it simple and get on with the people you're working with – it's common sense."


Joy Stefanicki

Joy Stefanicki


Hailing from Southampton, Joy is a keen traveller having spent extended time abroad in Israel, Peru and New York before returning to the UK after falling victim to the recession in 2008. She started her working life cleaning dishes in her parents' pub before joining a supermarket at the age of 16.

She says: "Be careful who you tread on as you go up as it's likely you'll need them on the way down."


Laura Moore

Laura Moore


Laura, a trained violinist and keen astronomer, originally dreamed of being a pilot before finding her niche and single-handedly bringing in over £500,000 of sales in her first year as a management consultant. She calls Anita Roddick one of her biggest business inspirations and has lived and worked as far afield as Boston and the Philippines developing new business ideas.

She says: "A lot of people can talk the talk, it's very easy to fluff up what you've done but my results are hard-proven."


Liz Locke

Liz Locke


Fashion and food aficionado Liz describes herself as 'ambitious, energetic and loyal'. Young and experienced in investment banking, she has recently ventured into property development and project management. A self-confessed health fanatic, Liz visits the gym three times a week and lists badminton, tennis and running as key interests.

She says: "I'd liken myself to Lamborghini, fast, exciting, stylish and successful."


Melissa Cohen

Melissa Cohen


Londoner Melissa started her working life as a hairdresser before successfully venturing into food business management, where she single-handedly increased the share of the Kosher food market for a major retail chain. She is inspired by the entrepreneurial prowess of Richard Branson and Kimora Lee Simmons and describes herself as 'analytical, effervescent and intelligent'.

She says: "If you get in my way, I'll mow you down."


Paloma Vivanco

Paloma Vivanco


Born and raised in Peru, Paloma has lived an international life with stints in North America, Australia, New Zealand and now the UK. A self-confessed 'no-nonsense' candidate, Paloma started working life frying donuts in Donut King before launching her first company at the age of 21 straight out of university. She eventually moved into the telecommunications industry and since then she has continued to cultivate her passion for business development.

She says: "I'm a hyper-achiever. Everything I do is always a success."


Sandeesh Samra

Sandeesh Samra


Born and raised in Nottingham, Sandeesh describes herself as 'ambitious and opinionated' and believes that repeat business is the key to success. She admires the Tosphop brand and their ability to remain on trend and would love to have been the brain behind digital giants Facebook and Google. Sandeesh started her working life as a sales assistant for Toys R Us. As a recruitment consultant, she managed to break a company revenue record.

She says: "Don't go for the quick win. Look after your customers and clients."


Stella English

Stella English


Mother-of-two Stella identifies 'resilience' as her greatest strength and has managed to forge a flourishing business career as the only female in the management on the trading floor of a Japanese investment bank, despite leaving school with no qualifications. She describes Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as 'phenomenal' inspirations and defines herself as 'passionate, funny and energetic'.

She says: "I'm like a dog with a bone, I can't let go. If I want something, I get it."

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