Sheffield University student in running to win £20k in Apprentice-style business contest

A Sheffield University student has been chosen to compete for a £20,000 prize in a prestigious Apprentice-style business contest that will be held in a 13th century castle.

By Sarah Marshall
Sunday, 07 April, 2019, 10:58
John Raybould

21-year-old John Raybould will be up against eleven other budding property investors from across the UK, taking part in the ‘The Eviction.’

The contestants, aged 20-50, will live together at Caverswall Castle in Staffordshire, one of the last remaining moated castles in the UK.

The contestants will take part in challenges throughout April

John, who grew up in Ecclesfield, made headlines last year when he set up a property business while studying full-time for a degree in history and politics.

He was dubbed the ‘property mogul’ by fellow students after pulling off buy-to-let deals on low mortgages to net a monthly profit of around £2,000.

“Once I’m inside the castle I’ll be going all out to win that £20,000 prize because it would really help me invest in more properties and achieve my goal of becoming financially free at a very early age,” said John.

The young entrepreneur is still in his final year at university and has his sights set on earning the big cash prize to help him add to his property portfolio of multiple occupancy accommodation.

The Eviction, inspired by The Apprentice TV show, will be held throughout April and is being organised by Property Investors – one of the largest training companies of its kind in the country.

The contestants will be set a series of intense and demanding challenges, the details of which are being kept secret.

The ‘Lord Sugar’ of Caverswall Castle will be 27-year-old entrepreneur Samuel Leeds, chairman of Property Investors, based at Hilton Hall, near Wolverhampton.

In true Sugar tradition, he will be regularly showing the door to contestants who do not meet his exacting standards.

He said: “Like me, none of them were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. We train thousands of people each year and these 12 people stood out.

“They will enjoy the facilities of the castle and our hospitality, but I’ll be evicting 11 people along the way. The last person standing will be handed £20,000 to invest in property.”

Samuel left school at the age of 16 and by the time he was 21 had accrued enough income to retire.

During the last 12 months alone, he has added around 40  properties to his portfolio, including historic Ribbesford House in Bewdley, famed for

its associations with General de Gaulle and Rudyard Kipling.

The self-made multi-millionaire was featured on BBC TV in November when he embarked on an undercover operation in Sheffield to prove that even people with no means can become financially free in a remarkably short time.