Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I'm Aiming Higher and Higher; Business Advice KRISTINA Grimes Was Runner-Up in TV's the Apprentice. She Visited Teesside Recently to Be Guest Speaker at the Middlesbrough Business Forum. KAREN McLAUCHLAN Found out What Her Top Tips Are for Business Success

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I'm Aiming Higher and Higher; Business Advice KRISTINA Grimes Was Runner-Up in TV's the Apprentice. She Visited Teesside Recently to Be Guest Speaker at the Middlesbrough Business Forum. KAREN McLAUCHLAN Found out What Her Top Tips Are for Business Success

Article excerpt

Byline: KAREN McLAUCHLAN

FROM the minute Kristina Grimes hit our screens during BBC series The Apprentice, there was no doubting she was a force to be reckoned with.

In the end she lost out on the top job as Sir Alan Sugar's apprentice - and a pounds 100,000 pay packet - as 27-year-old Simon Ambrose was told "You're hired!"

But the 36-year-old says coming second was the best break she could have asked for.

After the show ended she received 140 job offers and is now investment sales director with property development company Dandara Group.

Sharing her secrets of success with companies across the Tees Valley at Middlesbrough Business Forum, she said attitude was vital as was the ability to take risks and capitalise on opportunity.

"It's vital any company has clarity about what its business is about," said Kristina, who has 18 years' experience in business.

"Make sure you've got a goal and make the most of any opportunity.

"It's also so important to close on a deal - so many companies put in the work and then fail to do that right at the end."

She added: "People need to be imaginative. If they've got good ideas for a new product or service, then capitalise on that with help from business advisors. Do your research and if setting up your own company is the best option, then go for it.

"But not everyone can come up with the next big thing. But that doesn't mean they're not entrepreneurial.

"Entrepreneurial spirit can flourish as part of a company or within any industry."

Capitalising on opportunity is also a key to business.

And Kristina said with its rapid regeneration and development, Tees Valley is an area with opportunity in abundance.

"The opportunities in the region are great," she said.

"During my career in the pharmaceutical industry I spent time in this area and worked with James Cook University Hospital.

"The place had changed so much in just the last few years. - just look at Middlesbrough's new gallery, mima.

"My son is studying business in Stockton at Durham University's Queen's Campus - which is an excellent facility.

"Why would people want to be based in the saturated London area? …

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