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Richard Branson with founders who have been supported by Virgin StartUp in Edinburgh
Virgin StartUp
Virgin Galactic
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Published on 4 June 2024

When I started out in my career, I quickly realised that community means everything. Through Student Magazine and the Student Advisory Centre (my first business and first not-for-profit), we built a network of writers, readers, activists, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, musicians, marketers – the list goes on. Without this network, I’m not sure how we would have survived.

Black and white image of Richard Branson as a student standing next to a female student

More than 50 years later, I’m reminded everyday of how networking and community remains vital for entrepreneurs. This is why I was so thrilled to hear about The Virgin StartUp Community, which is a place for UK founders to connect with experts, mentors and other wonderful founders.

Virgin StartUp has been supporting entrepreneurs in the UK for 10 years now, and they’ve packed everything they’ve learnt into the platform, which I’ve been perusing and posting on today. It’s open to any aspiring entrepreneur or early-stage business founder in the UK, providing access to online learning, workshops, and face-to-face events.

Virgin StartUp Community - 2024
Virgin StartUp

Having a mentor in Sir Freddie Laker when we decided to start Virgin Atlantic was also critical to my success, which is why I’m glad to see it’s a key part of Virgin StartUp’s proposition when it launched. Mentoring is one of the reasons why 74% of businesses funded by Virgin StartUp are still trading after three years, compared with a national average of 54%. The team now has more than 600 mentors on its books, and I’m pleased to see that mentorship will play an important role in the new digital community too. Indeed, founders with a premium subscription will be able to personally connect with a brilliant lineup of mentors and advisors to get tailored advice by booking 1:1 sessions with mentors on the platform. The mentors includes some of the brightest start-up minds such as Jamie Crummie who co-founded Too Good to Go, and Emilie Vanpoperinghe who co-founded OddBox.

Richard Branson with founders who have been supported by Virgin StartUp in Edinburgh
Virgin StartUp

It’s not easy to start a business, so it’s fantastic to see Virgin StartUp making it so much more accessible. In fact, in the past decade Virgin StartUp has helped more than 40,000 founders to start and scale and distributed £80 million in Start Up Loans as a Business Support Partner of the British Business Bank. Outstanding figures, which is testament to a wonderful team and a wonderful community.

Join The Virgin StartUp Community today!