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Uzma Yakoob: From Apprentice Also-Ran to Makeup Mega Entrepreneur

Back in the early seasons of The Apprentice, the eventual winner would be awarded with a ‘six figure salary’ job after Lord Alan Sugar pointed his finger at them and declared ‘You’re hired.’

Once the show wrapped, the newly crowned victor would arrive for their first day at one of Alan’s offices in a business park near the Dartford Crossing, £100,000 contract freshly inked, ready to begin a job that would ultimately see them quit three months in after realising their colleagues resent their high salary and they have no interest in selling ad space in shopping centres.

To solve this issue, the series decided to switch up the prize, instead offering the winner a £250,000 investment in their business idea. Did this lead to candidates with greater business nous and a more established entrepreneurial streak? Well no, not really.

However, it did mean every person on the show actually had a business idea. So even if they got booted off in the second episode, there was a chance that they could parlay their appearance into personal success.

@uzmayakoob repping the #hudabeautydesertdusk palette #hudabeauty @hudabeauty

A post shared by Sculpt Beauty (@sculptbeauty) on

And so we come to Uzma Yakoob. Uzma appeared on the ninth series of the show, which aired in 2013. While she didn’t get very far in the ‘process’, we were recently alerted to her due to what she’s achieved in the past four or so years.

Since being on the receiving end of a Sugar-brand ‘You’re fired’, Uzma has turned her makeup and beauty lines into a global business venture.

Uzma started her company, Sculpt Beauty, when she was only 18. She went on The Apprentice in the hope of pushing it to the next level. Even though it wasn’t to be, she capitalised on her post-Sugar profile by growing Sculpt Beauty from makeup artists to photoshoots to bridal packages to makeup academies in London, Dubai and Cairo.

Best of all, her brands champion a diverse approach to beauty that welcomes women of colour and caters to the needs of different cultures.

While she may not have received Lord Sugar’s investment, Uzma Yakoob is proof that you can achieve success even if your setbacks happen on national TV.

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