St Albans entrepreneur survives first episode of The Apprentice

Luisa Zissman - (C) Boundless - Photographer: Jim Marks

Luisa Zissman - (C) Boundless - Photographer: Jim Marks - Credit: BBC/Boundless

CUPCAKE queen Luisa Zissman survived her first boardroom battle on The Apprentice debut tonight.

Luisa, who owns Dixie’s Cupcakery in Market Place, St Albans, joined 15 other hopefuls on the BBC show for a chance to go into partnership with multi-millionaire tycoon Lord Alan Sugar.

The ambitious 25 year old will be put through her paces in a range of challenges for up to 12 weeks to try and land £250,000 to invest in a start-up business.

Their first task was to take stock of various consumer goods and go out to sell them on the streets of London, with the winner the team that makes the biggest profit.

She had the honour of naming the girls’ team “Evolve”, after suggesting the name because they would be evolving as a team over the coming weeks.

“Evolve. Done. Boom. Move on!” she declared.

Luisa took the lead in selling to a chain of American diners, shifting a bulk load of bottled water for £50 more than the boys’ team.

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“People assume I’m just a bimbo... but I have a really good business brain,” she declared.

The hunt for someone to buy their bulk quantity of cat litter proved more challenging, as did the bubble wrap (“Small bubble,” Luisa revealed.)

“No way on this earth are any of us going back in that boardroom,” she said, after hearing how the other sub-team had performed.

When it came to confronting Lord Sugar she revealed how she had chosen the team name, and confirmed that they sold out of three of their products.

Team Evolve came in with a total of £1109.30, compared to Team Endeavour’s £1167.90, just £58 difference.

“We don’t want to pass the buck but we sold more than triple what you guys did,” she told her teammates.

But she escaped being fired in the opening episode when team leader Jazz called back some of her other colleagues, and will be back in tomorrow’s episode for her second challenge.

Luisa, who describes herself as having “the energy of a Duracell bunny, sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit, and a brain like Einstein”, opened a luxury cupcake shop named after her daughter 18 months ago.

Her CV also boasts launching an online business selling cake equipment and setting up a cupcake academy in Verulam Road last December.

In her audition tape the mum-of-one said: “I never accept failure it just doesn’t come into my vocabulary.

“I am not one for corporate jargon and all that stuff, I just do what I do. I buy stuff, I sell stuff and I make money.”