Fylde Coast solicitor Lauren Riley is living up to her reality TV promise of going it alone after failing to make the grade on The Apprentice.
Last autumn she appeared on the BBC hit series, but Lord Alan Sugar uttered the words no candidate on the show wants to hear: “You’re fired”.
And defiant after her TV experience, she is now seeking support for what was her business plan on the show –an ‘app’ that allows business professionals to communicate and manage clients in a more efficient way, to help boost efficiency in hectic daily work.
Lauren’s turned to ‘Crowdfunding’, an online funding system bypassing the need for bank loans with investement from the general public and interested businesses, to expand her Link App, which is primarily aimed at the legal profession but can be used in any business setting.
There’s 10 days left for any investors to sign up to the scheme, with a promise of trials in thanks for their help.
“It’s a communication tool to help work between law firms and clients, primarily for conveyancing,” the former Hodgson High School pupil said. “It replaces emails, or letters which can take weeks to go out, so because they can get a quick update, there’s a better client experience.
“Based on feedback by clients, they perceive the legal industry as being poor at communication – where they’re not being kept in the loop – and that’s the biggest complaint we get.
“I couldn’t believe that the technology was out there to improve this but wasn’t being utilised, as it could have a really positive impact on our day to day lives.”
Besides developing the Link App, Lauren’s been busy since moving to London - a change she made in line with being on The Apprentice.
“Every day something really exciting happens for me or the business,” she said.
She’s been in demand as a public and motivational speaker, with a focus on diversity in the legal profession, as well as branching out into lifestyle blogging.
“As much as Blackpool has my heart, it’s not a place that’s on the map for legal debate, and so many things have happened as a result of The Apprentice and moving to London,” Lauren, from Thornton, added. “Law is under represented for gender in senior roles, and if I can promote a different face of law then I’m very willing to do that.”
She’s also still working on a consultancy basis in family law, the specialist area she developed while at local firms Napthens and Ashcroft Whiteside before her move south.
Visits back to the Fylde are few and far between, but when London’s been sweltering in the recent heatwave, the breezy Blackpool air has been on this Lauren’s missed.
“Up until about May I was coming regularly, as my dog was ill but has passed away now. My mum’s still up there and my family is so important to me, especially with everything I’ve had going on.
“I certainly miss everyone, my best friend has a small son and I miss seeing him growing up so regularly. I just hope all the hard work pays off.”
To find out more about the Link App and investing in the scheme, visit www.thelinkapp.co.uk.