Two-thirds of entrepreneurs would turn down Sugar partnership

With some even comparing him to Hitler

Two-thirds of British entrepreneurs would spurn the chance to work with Lord Sugar – and some even liken him to Adolf Hitler.

These are the principal findings of a new survey from, designed to gauge the feelings of Britain’s small business community towards the celebrity peer.

Of the 200 entrepreneurs who responded to the survey, 64% said they would spurn a 50:50 business partnership with Lord Sugar – an opportunity which this year’s Apprentice contestants are vying for.

When asked why they would turn down the chance of a partnership, respondents pointed to Sugar’s overly aggressive approach, his lack of emotional intelligence and his track record of questionable business decisions.

Some respondents were particularly scathing, comparing Sugar to villains of the ages such as Hitler and Genghis Khan.

Gerard Burke, managing director of Your Business Your Future, explained: “Many owner managers and entrepreneurs have high needs for autonomy and control – that’s why they run their own businesses. 

“So, they simply couldn’t work in an equal partnership with another person – especially someone like Lord Sugar, who they may fear has an even greater need for control than their own.  On the other hand, they can see themselves working with the apparently less dominant assistants, Nick Hewer and Karren Brady.”

Age concern

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The survey also suggested that, as an entrepreneur becomes more experienced, they are less likely to welcome the involvement of an outsider such as Sugar.

Although a majority of respondents in the 18-29 age range said they’d welcome a partnership with Sugar, older respondents were far less receptive to the idea; in fact, 75% of respondents aged between 37 and 44 said they would reject it.

Burke continued: “The older the entrepreneur, the more likely the business is to be well-established, and the more likely that the business owner has become accustomed to having control.  So, the less likely they are to value a partner.” 


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