The Apprentice's money-spinning businesses that are raking in the most cash for canny Lord Sugar

THE Apprentice made its grand return this week, with 16 brand new contestants all battling it out to win Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment.

Fans have had to wait two years for the 16th series, after Covid kept it off air in 2020 and 2021, but its former stars never stopped making big money in the meantime.

Many Apprentice stars have gone on to achieve great things in the world of business and helped keep Lord Sugar on top the rich list.

We take a look at some of the biggest earners to come out of the show.

Tom Pellereau

In 2011, geeky Tom Pellereau became the first contestant to win a £250,000 investment as part of the format shake-up.

The inventor from Twyford, Hampshire, went into business with the tycoon developing an S-shaped nail range called Stylfile, which was sold at Tesco and Asda supermarkets.

Their company has made a turnover of £1.5million and is worth £1,117,061.

Tom, a former mechanical engineering student, went on to develop a collapsible baby bottle, a bowel cancer screening device and other inventions.

He admitted that he "gets shouted at all the time" by Lord Sugar.

Leah Totton

Leah Totton beat off baker Luisa Zissman to  bag Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment.

The Irish GP injected the bumper sum in setting up a Botox clinic in central London.

Leah's clients include a host of famous faces such as TOWIE star Frankie Essex, and Karren Brady attended the launch.

She is on a six figure salary as she heads up two Dr Leah Cosmetic Skin Clinics which offers botox "tweakments" and face-lifts.

The company saw a profit of £216,000 in 2017 after generating sales of £1.27million and it is now worth £661,644.

Blonde bombshell Leah said she hasn't convinced Lord Alan to go under the knife.

She joked: "Whenever he pops into our clinic, I offer him Botox treatments but he politely declines."

Susan Ma

The business brain behind Tropic Skincare came third in the seventh series of the show in 2011.

But she is now considered to be the most successful Apprentice candidate of all time.

Shanghai-born Susan's business is reported to be worth £4.6 million after securing investment from Lord Sugar when the show ended.

The 32-year-old employs over 400 people directly, and has over 20,000 as ambassadors who run their own businesses selling Tropic products.

Susan set up the business when she was 15 from the kitchen of her family home in Croydon and completely sold out of all her handmade body scrubs and made a staggering £1,000 on her first day in the job.

She ran Tropic for five years alongside her studies before shutting it down in her final year of university to concentrate on her degree.

Susie landed a job with City Group trading Foreign Exchange in 2010, aged 21, but quickly started dreaming of relaunching Tropic.

She applied for The Apprentice and narrowly lost out on Lord Sugar’s investment to Tom Pellereau.

Susie invested £8,000 of her personal savings to take Tropic to the Ideal Home show in London.

In December 2011, Lord Sugar invested £200,000 for a 50 per cent share of Tropic.

The company became the UK’s fastest growing skincare brand and boasts profits of £10.7million.

James White and Sarah Lynn

James White and Sarah Lynn made it all the way to the final in 2017 – and in an unprecedented twist, they were BOTH crowned winners, receiving £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.

The duo impressed the business legend with their business plans for IT recruitment and confectionery respectively, meaning he had to fork out half a million pounds in total.

Sarah runs Sweets In The City, which is valued at £264,099. While James opened recruitment company, Right Time Recruitment, now worth £167,938

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Ricky Martin

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Ricky is one of the most memorable contestants from The ApprenticeCredit: Twitter

The winner in 2012, Ricky Martin, has turned over £4.25million and made a £400,000 profit with his firm.

He used his £250,000 to set up Hyper Recruitment after finding success on the BBC show.

The man who once dreamed of being a pro-wrestler was able to pay himself £65,000 in 2017.

The qualified biochemist from Portsmouth was praised as a "glowing example" to young people by his business mogul mentor.

Mark Wright

The bitter rivalry between Mark Wright and Daniel Lassman became an almost Game of Thrones-esque drama in 2014.

The 28-year-old sales manager came out victorious and went on to launch digital marketing website Climb Online with Lord Sugar's investment.

It turned over £4million and saw a profit of £500,000 in its early days. It is now worth £442,626.

Company accounts detailed it moved to new offices and expand after the successful results.

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