Artisan bakery owner Carina Lepore has been crowned the series 15 winner of The Apprentice after a dramatic final win over fellow finalist Scarlett Allen-Horton.

The 30-year-old impressed Lord Sugar and his panel of industry experts to seal a £250,000 investment in her ‘Lepore’s Artisan Bakehouse’ brand.

Lord Sugar’s advisors Karren Brady and Claude Littner raised concerns about Lepore’s ability to grow her business, however she impressed Lord Sugar enough to become the seventh female winner of the series.

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She said: “It’s been an amazing, amazing achievement for myself. I came in with the mindset that I’d want to win and prove myself to Lord Sugar, Karren and Claude - that I am hard working.”


She added: “I wanted it so bad and I’m glad it was portrayed and I’m sitting here now.”

How did the final pan out?

During Wednesday’s final, candidates fired earlier in the series returned to help the two remaining contestants bring their business plans to life.

Allen-Horton and Lepore were summoned to London’s Sky Garden skyscraper and told they would need to produce a digital screen and a TV advert for their businesses.

They would both then pitch their ideas to Lord Sugar and 250 experts at City Hall.

Both finalists picked their teams from previous candidates and got to work.

Lepore wanted a family feel for her bakery and opted for the name Lepore’s Artisan Bakehouse.

Her digital screen showed a customer raising a piece of bread to their mouths and slapping away someone else’s hand.

The tagline was “too good to share” while the business’s slogan was “the finest in family baking”.

Meanwhile, Allen-Horton and her team were working away on her recruitment business, which had the aim of “promoting female, minority and diverse talent through the ranks”.

They decided on the name Stanton Lily while the logo was the profile of a woman’s face with cogs where the brain should be.

Lord sugar’s aide Baroness Karren Brady was unimpressed with the aesthetic choices.

The next challenge for the candidates was to film TV adverts for their respective businesses.

Lepore’s team recorded a prison-themed commercial, with the bakery’s bread being described as “worth the time”.

The candidates working for Allen-Horton’s recruitment business settled on an advert showing a woman jumping into the driving seat of an invisible car while Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger from the Rocky films played.

Again, the watching Lady Brady was unimpressed while Allen-Horton said it was “more cheesy” than she would have liked.

Both teams asked members of the public for feedback on their work before the finalists pitched their businesses to Lord Sugar and the panel of experts.

What was the verdict from the boardroom?

Both candidates made impassioned final pitches to Lord Sugar and his advisors as they entered the boardroom for the last time.

Previously, Brady and Littner raised concerns about the scalability of Lepore’s business, while they were also concerned about issues with Allen-Horton’s ability to “stand out from the crowd.”

Littner told Lord Sugar: “I like Scarlett, I think that throughout the process, for every single task, she’s taken to it really well - my problem with her is that I think she’s tackling the wrong market.”

Brady added: “I mean look, it is tough, Scarlett’s picked a business that is very difficult to stand out in, it’s a very crowded market but the good news is she’s already started her business

However, Baroness Brady was more positive about the investment in Lepore’s artisan bakery firm, telling Lord Sugar: “The key thing for her, I think, is the location of these new shops, and you’ve got a property arm that will help with that.”

But Littner added: “Retail is detail, and I’m worried that perhaps she’s underestimated just how much knowledge is required to expand her business.”

How did Lord Sugar come to the final decision?

With both candidates back in the boardroom, Lord Sugar congratulated them for reaching the final, describing them as “two of the best finalists” he had ever had.

He told the pair: “It’s a difficult decision to make.”

“I think Carina, the worrying concern that I have is this scaling up of other branches, and Scarlett, I think also you are grossly underestimating the fact that you’ll incur lots of costs once you start to roll this thing out with more employees, and that’s where my head is at the moment.”

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Lord Sugar continued: “Having said all that, shops, I’ve never had - the only thing going for you is that it’s food and that when you look at the high street these days that’s all it’s packed with – food.”

“Scarlett - two past winners are recruitment companies and do I want to throw more eggs into that basket. I’m trying to think of the scaling up of your business, but I like the idea of more bread.

“So Carina, you’re going to be my business partner.”