Delighted that Virgin have been named as one of the businesses doing the most to support start-ups across Europe and the number one in the UK. Our brand has been built upon a foundation of creating start-ups and developing entrepreneurs, and it’s exciting to see how this is continuing to grow.
Virgin has been recognised in the top three of SEP Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars rankings, alongside SAP and Telefonica, for being start-up friendly. The awards take place under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative, with a focus upon innovation and collaboration.
I’m particularly proud that Virgin was rewarded for our ability to ingrain entrepreneurship within our culture. It’s something I’ve been focused upon since the earliest days of Virgin Records, where I looked out for entrepreneurial traits within our teams, and encouraged people to step up and start their own subsidiaries of the record label as we grew in size. This kept us nimble, open to innovation, and developing the next generation of leaders.
Richard Branson and the New York Virgin team
Of course, many of these entrepreneurs go on to create wonderful new start-ups outside of Virgin – Tony Fernandes at Air Asia, Catherine Salway at Redemption and Rowan Gormley at Naked Wines all spring to mind, and there are many, many more, who all remain a part of the Virgin family. Others become intrapreneurs, using their entrepreneurial instincts to break the mould within their teams inside the Virgin Group.
Virgin StartUp, our non-profit providing funding and mentoring to those looking to launch or grow businesses, is playing a huge role in our entrepreneurial make-up. Since launching we’ve helped over 2,000 people to start up, building the foundations stimulate more and more entrepreneurs within the UK.
As European Commissioner Carlos Moedas said at the event: “Collaboration between corporates and start-ups, if done right, can bring tremendous benefit to both: start-ups can access invaluable resources and market insight which can help them scale, established companies can benefit from a new mode of innovation as well as cultural change.” I wholeheartedly agree.
Congratulations to everyone around the Virgin family ensuring our brand continues to live and breathe entrepreneurship every day.