Why diversity is important in the start-up community

The team from Virgin StartUp
Virgin StartUp
Andy Fishburn
by Andy Fishburn
31 March 2021

In 2013, Richard Branson set up Virgin StartUp to help the founders of tomorrow build better, brighter businesses. Virgin StartUp’s mission has always been to help founders from across the UK start up and thrive, so they can make the leap into entrepreneurship with confidence – knowing that they have a trusted partner along the way. 

Making this happen doesn’t just mean providing access to funding, or helping founders get investment-ready. It means removing barriers to entrepreneurship, increasing accessibility and demystifying the start-up process for everyone, so that those who want to start businesses have equal opportunities to do so. 

The founders of Liha Beauty sitting on the floor and smiling
Liha Beauty

That’s why we’re launching the ‘This is What a Founder Looks Like’ series on Virgin.com, to showcase the best of Britain’s entrepreneurs – from all walks of life; doing varied and brilliant things. We want to inspire the next generation of would-be, might-be, not-sure-if-I’m-up-to-it-founders, and show that there are people just like you starting and running thriving businesses. 

Holly Branson recently shared how Virgin StartUp is working to enable more women founders to start up: from creating new partnerships with women-driven communities, to ensuring diversity is reflected throughout all content and communications. There is more that can be done to improve access to entrepreneurship, and Virgin StartUp is just getting started. 

Eccie and Gini Newton, founders of Karma Cans
Karma Kans

We want to tell the stories of founders you won’t hear elsewhere – and celebrate the diversity and experiences of the Virgin StartUp community. 

Since we launched in 2013, we have supported over 30,000 founders and helped over 4,000 budding entrepreneurs access vital funding, mentoring and support through the Start Up Loans programme. We have worked with thousands more who are looking to scale, by helping them develop the skills they need to build better businesses and to get ready to raise investment. 

The founders of ODDBOX smile inside a greenhouse
Emilie and Deepak, co-founders of Oddbox | Oddbox

No two founders are the same, and everyone experiences entrepreneurship in their own way. Virgin StartUp has worked with creative founders turning a passion into a business, social entrepreneurs taking on the world’s biggest challenges, founders breaking down barriers, businesses which have pivoted overnight, sibling founders, mother and daughter founders, and sisters taking on the world

The founders in the Virgin StartUp community are all on different journeys, but they share the same goals: to build and create something which lasts. 

Richard Branson sits between the mother and daughter founders of the Sustainably app
Virgin StartUp

We want to make sure that anyone who has the itch can scratch it. Join us as we tell the stories from across the Virgin StartUp community that showcase the best of what is possible when we’re all able to live our full potential.

Visit Virgin StartUp to find out more and check back to Virgin.com each week for a new story from the Virgin StartUp community.