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Apprentice winner Mark Wright sells multi-million pound company he built with Lord Sugar

An Apprentice winner who scooped the top prize and investment from Lord Alan Sugar has sold his business after seven years.

It is the first time one of the companies formed after the show has been successfully disposed of.

Lord Sugar said 2014 winner Mark Wright, who came to the UK from Australia with little to his name, grew big oak trees from just a few acorns.

The two partners have sold digital marketing agency Climb Online to larger peer xDNA for what is believed to be in the region of £10 million.

In the years since it was formed, Climb Online has grown to employ 130 staff and work with brands including TikTok, Emirates airways and Groupon.

Lord Sugar said Mr Wright built the successful company after winning the £250,000 partnership on the BBC show.

“A young boy comes from Australia, skint, totally skint,” he told the PA news agency.

“He sees an advert on BBC to enter into The Apprentice programme.

“He then goes on and wins it. And he wins a partnership with me of £250,000. And from acorns, big oak trees have grown.

“And this young lad who came with no money is now going back to Australia with millions.”

Mr Wright said the fame from being on the show helped open doors as he was establishing the firm.

“Before I went on the show, if I rang up a carpet shop in South London they wouldn’t give me the time of day,” he said.

“As soon as I won that programme I could get a meeting in the boardroom at Emirates.

“That brand was incredibly powerful.”

But he said a focus on keeping the language at the business simple was key to its success.

He added: “What really made my company stick out … was the fact that we were results driven and we kept the language simple.

“Instead of talking about the click-through rate and cost-per-click and digital marketing speech, business owners wanted a clear example of, ‘How much have I got to spend and how much are you going to get me back?’”

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