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Carina Lepore provides a great example of what one can do when they possess entrepreneurial spirit. The winner of the 15th series of The Apprentice in 2019, she earned a £250,000 investment from Lord Alan Sugar and entered a 50:50 partnership with the famous businessman with bakery business Dough Artisan Bakehouse.
Speaking to GB News today, Ms Lepore offered advice for young people looking to get started in the business realm.
Ms Lepore did not go to university after finishing school, instead diving head first into the world of business.
On the start of her journey in business, she said: “I did my A-levels at sixth form; I then was really sort of hungry and driven.
“I had this spark and drive from a young age to just want to go and earn my own money and have my own business.
Lord Alan Sugar partnered with Carina Lepore after she won The Apprentice in 2019 (Image: GETTY)
“So, I just went off and opened up a shop and ran the car boots and markets on a Sunday, and just went with it.
“Really, that was a big risk, but I decided it was the route for me,” the entrepreneur added.
Many young people may feel they must go to university after they finish sixth form, but Ms Lepore explained that other options are available.
She said: “For any young entrepreneurs who have this spark and drive, you’ve got your results today and you’re thinking what you want to do, there are other options and other routes.
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“I’ve been learning loads about what I could have done, and what young people can do.
“There are fantastic opportunities for young people who want to earn their own money and go out and work like I did,” the businesswoman added.
Ms Lepore spoke about the stigma around people who have not been to university and their employability as opposed to those who have a degree.
“There may be a stigma about that, but now from running my own business, I now have Lord Sugar as my mentor, both coming from a background of sort of graft and hard work,” Ms Lepore said.
Richest people in the UK (Image: Express)
“Now in my company, I’m the one who reviews the CVs and I’m the one who decides who’s going to work for me.
“If I see a qualification that you’ve studied for and worked alongside or you’ve done an apprenticeship, to me that would stand out more than if you’ve gone to study at university.”
She added: “I would say that’s someone that I’d be more enticed to employ.”
As results day arrives, many people will be disappointed with their grades, but Ms Lepore stressed that this does not mean one cannot have a bright future.
“I really want to say to young people that I remember getting that anxiety and having to go to your mum and dad and tell them, ‘I didn’t get the grades I wanted,’” she said.
Carina Lepore started in business straight from school (Image: GETTY)
“But what I would really say to young people now that I’m a lot older, is that it’s not the end of the world and your life is just beginning.
“You’ve got to go with your gut and believe in whatever you want to achieve, that you can achieve it,” she added.
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may have put some people off from the risks of starting their own business, but Ms Lepore says young people should not be apprehensive.
She said: “The economy is a bit up and down at the minute. It’s like a roller coaster, but that’s the world of business as well, pandemic or no pandemic.”