POWER-DRESSING and pouting — a new generation of business women has arrived in the boardroom.

Thanks to The Apprentice, young professionals have the opportunity to showcase their business acumen to the nation, with the chance to work for Lord Sugar.

But this year’s female candidates on the BBC series have let the side down with scenes of catfights and squabbling.

In a recent episode it got so out of hand that Sugar’s aide, Karren Brady, told the girls off for “setting a bad example for women in business everywhere.”

One young entrepreneur who could teach The Apprentice candidates a trick or two about professionalism is 19-year-old Giorgia Smithies.

Having run her own high-end fashion design company, Joja Designs, for the last year, Giorgia says emotions should never get in the way of business.

“The fashion industry is probably one of the worst for being catty,“ said the Burnley designer, who supplies to boutiques across the globe.

“You have to be controlled. You won’t acheive your dreams if you waste time arguing.”

Giorgia, who completed a BTEC National Diploma in Fashion at Burnley College, added: “I work in an office with three girls and it’s great.”

Christine Lambe, training director for East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, praised the area’s corporate females.

“The business women in East Lancashire are extremely pro-active,” said Mrs Lambe, who is also head of Unique, the organisation’s support group for women in business.

“We have some extremely talented and successful women who run their own businesses that make a difference to the economy of East Lancashire.

And we look forward to significant increases in women starting businesses.”

Jessica Cunningham, 23, set up video marketing company, Vidotise, based at Empire Business Centre, Liverpool Road, Burnley, launched in June.

“I aim to show men in business that what they can do we can do just as well — and sometimes we can do it better,” the former sales executive said.

“Women are emotional but they need to use their emotions at the right times.

"Hissy fits and tantrums like we’ve seen from the females on The Apprentice will only lose you respect,” said Jessica, who aims to double her team and plans to diversify as part of wedding planners The Wedding Girls, launching in the new year.

Natalie Smith, 23, opened her own shop The Therapy Room, in Bank Top, Blackburn, just two weeks ago.

The former Blackburn College student said: “After seven years doing facials, massages and nails for other people I decided that it was time to go it alone.

"What’s most important is professionalism.

"Clients need treating well to keep them coming back.”

Mum-of-two Nathalie Parker-Smeeth, set up graphic design business Wow Design, Liverpool Road, Burnley, in 2009 while on maternity leave.

The 27-year-old said: “I wanted to be my own boss so I could work around my children’s needs.

"It’s really taken off. I’ll be expanding in the near future to have a full design team working for me. I want to create my own empire.

“The key in difficult business situations is to keep a cool head, leaving anything personal out of the boardroom. And always wear a smile.”

Sharon Adcroft, 27, runs on-line events firm Pink Champagne from her home in Clitheroe.

As well as organising events and fashion shows, the company promotes models and entertainers.

She said: “I am very passionate and driven. And yes, I am quite an emotional person — most women are — but so long as it’s used to your benefit this can be a good thing.

"Some businesses are made for women.

“We’re better than men at certain things. In my business a good event is made brilliant by the little minor details that women are so good at.”

For business advice contact Unique on 01254 356400 or email the team at info@elancswomeninbusiness.co.uk