Presenting the Virgin Unite Impact Award 2018

Holly Branson wearing a microphone, sitting on a brown sofa, looking away from the camera
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Holly Branson
Holly Branson's writing
Published on 22 May 2018

I’ve just spent the most inspiring morning at Virgin Media Business VOOM 2018 Awards. I did not envy the VOOM judges - all of the six pitches were incredible. I’ll leave it to Dad to tell you how difficult the final decision on the winners was! What I will say is that every business that pitched was clearly driven by purpose. As Richard Reed summed up beautifully:

“Today, it has been incredible to to see that all the businesses are NET-Positive not NET-Negative.”    

Richard Branson and Holly Branson with the winner of the VOOM Unite Impact Award 2018
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Last week, some colleagues and I met the four wonderful organisations short-listed for the Virgin Unite Impact Award: Jotty’s Workshop, The Nifties Group, Organic Blooms and Blu Health Co - so I know just how difficult it is when you are pitched by fantastic businesses. All four candidates in my judging category were truly inspiring.

I would like to give a special mention to the first runner up though. Blu Health Company is a company using technology to improve the lives of people with mental health issues through an innovative but simple monitor and hand-held trigger system.

Black and white image of Richard and Holly Branson looking at a computer
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The competition was tough though and the winner - Organic Blooms - had literally thought through the purpose and sustainability of every angle of their business - from their supply chain, to their growth model and staff experience. The team is already making a real impact on society by providing training for people with learning difficulties and mental health support needs; qualifications; paid jobs and community interaction. They are also shining a light on important but often-ignored challenges in the cut-flower industry and are the only certified organic flower grower/florist in the UK.

Congratulations to all of the finalists and thank you for such an inspiring day!