Sharing entrepreneurship and dyslexia advice with students

Richard Branson surprising a classroom of students
Made by Dyslexia
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 15 January 2021

Before the UK lockdown, I was delighted to surprise a classroom full of students at Broadclyst Primary School in Devon who had been learning all about entrepreneurship in their business class.

The look of shock and excitement on their faces when I turned up made my day and they asked some brilliant questions.

One asked me what makes a good entrepreneur and I said it’s important to be good with people and be able to trust them. Another asked about failure; he struggled to get his words out but spoke with a smile – and I said that’s exactly what it’s about. Even if you find something challenging, it’s your attitude towards the problem that counts. It’s not a failure if it’s a learning opportunity.

We also talked about Made by Dyslexia’s new book Xtraordinary People, which helps children and their parents understand how they can think differently about dyslexia. It explains how dyslexia may give them strengths, or ‘superpowers’ - such as creativity or being ‘people people’. Mine is having a strong imagination – a skill I have put to good use when building the Virgin brand.

A boy in the class called Jake had just found out he is dyslexic and we had a quick chat afterwards about how it feels. I asked him what he was good at – then told him to keep chasing this and to use his imagination at every opportunity.

I really struggled at school with my dyslexia, but I want kids to know that if you work hard and persevere then you can achieve your dreams – just don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Made by Dyslexia
Made by Dyslexia

I wouldn’t be where I am today if I wasn’t dyslexic. In the real world, dyslexia can be a huge advantage. I’ve always let my imagination run wild and have thought creatively about how I could make my big dreams happen.

With the right support all dyslexic kids can go on to achieve ‘xtraordinary’ things - their imaginations can fire up our future, helping us to solve many of the biggest issues facing society.

The world needs dyslexic thinking - dyslexic minds see the world differently, often thinking creatively and solving problems others can’t. Made by Dyslexia and EY produced a really great report showing how the skills of the future are often the areas that dyslexics excel in.

Head over to Made by Dyslexia to grab a copy of the book and to read more about the strengths that dyslexia can bring.