My mother, my biggest inspiration

A black and white photo of Eve Branson on a rooftop garden
Image by Virgin.com
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 13 March 2015

My mother, Eve, is my biggest inspiration, my most encouraging champion, and my greatest sounding board. On top of helping me chart my path to success, she’s been very successful herself – a pioneering entrepreneur in her own right.

Black and white image of Richard Branson with his mum and grandmother
Image by Virgin.com

Now in her 90s, most people would relish in some downtime, but my mum has other ideas… As well as spending time with her three new great-grandchildren, she’s also working hard as the Founder of the Eve Branson Foundation. With a mission to improve the lives of women and young girls in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the Eve Branson Foundation provides access to education and health care to those in need.

Eve Branson with her team of women in Morocco

The work of the Foundation touches and affects many lives; and a huge amount of energy goes into making sure the necessary support is delivered. One of the major drivers of fundraising is British Polo Day Morocco. The event – which takes place in late April at The Jnan Amar Polo Club Marrakech – is a grand affair, held under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco. Celebrating the day each year, the festivities wrap up with a wonderful gala dinner, in support of the Eve Branson Foundation.

Large crowd celebrating
Image by Jack Brockway

Every year I tell her it will be too much effort to organise, and warn her against it. Every year she proves me wrong. At 90 years old my mother works to make sure everything is in place, and targets are met. She glams up on the day, speaks at the event, and networks at the dinner. She is a true inspiration.

As Sunday marks Mother’s Day in the UK, I’d like to send my mother special wishes and praise. Thank you mum for motivating me each and every day on my life; for teaching me that not even the sky’s the limit; and that impossible is just a word.

Richard Branson with his mother Eve and sisters Lindy and Vanessa
Image by Virgin.com

Your guidance and love have enabled me to see strength and ability in all women. From my wife, Joan; to my sisters Lindy and Vanessa; and my daughter Holly and daughter-in-law Bellie (two new mums!); to all the amazing women who work tirelessly and passionately to contribute to the Virgin journey – I am surrounded by women, who’s impact on the world is thrillingly exciting.

I tell my mother that I love her and respect her at every chance I get – and I hope you do too. Days like Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day shine a great spotlight on the wonderful character of women, but they should not be seen as an exclusive opportunity to show admiration and praise.

Richard Branson and mum Eve walking on the beach on Necker Island
Image from Virgin.com

Tell your mum how she has inspired you, and what you are thankful and grateful for. She deserves it.