Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Grainne misses out on Lord Sugar’s investment

Dromintee make-up artist and budding entrepreneur Grainne McCoy narrowly missed out on a place in the final of BBC One’s The Apprentice, and the chance to win a £250,000 investment.   The 31 year old business woman – described as “a great team player” – was one of five semi-finalists battling it out for a place in Sunday’s final after surviving 11 weeks of gruelling challenges.

Last Thursday’s interview stage proved the toughest challenge yet as the final five were interrogated by a panel of business experts who pulled apart the candidates’ CVs, business plans and performance on the show’s tasks.

A cool and composed McCoy was caught out during her grilling after she failed to work out her figures correctly and was told by Sugar and the panel that her multi-stranded business plan, which involved setting up a make-up academy, her own make-up brand and a recruitment agency was “shooting too high”.

She was the first to be fired during the boardroom showdown with Lord Sugar saying he simply couldn’t “see” her business concept.

Speaking to the Press Association after her elimination, Grainne, who runs her own make-up studio, said she regretted that her business plan was not “up to scratch” but said she is still determined to become”the next Gok Wan in the make-up world”.

Fans in her native Dromintee and the surrounding Newry area have been closely following her journey on The Apprentice over the last 3 months and a special family episode aired last Tuesday showcasing the Dromintee area and the wealth of support for the local entrepreneur and mother-of-one from her family, friends and former school, St Paul’s.

Despite her exit last week, Grainne has received an outpouring of support and congratulations for making it to the final five in the hit TV show and for putting south Armagh and the surrounding area firmly on the map.

Finalists, cake company owner Alana Spencer (24) and novelty gift business owner, Courtney Wood (29), were joined by several of their former Apprentice colleagues in Sunday’s finale as the they were tasked with launching their business by creating a brand and unveiling their campaign.

After pitching their plans to 200 industry experts including Lord Sugar Courtney/ Alana became the 2016 winner of The Apprentice, and Lord Sugar’s new business partner.