I fell in love with the beautiful British Virgin Islands (BVI) when I first laid eyes on Necker Island in 1977. Believing it to be heaven on Earth, I bought the island the following year. Spending so many wonderful family holidays there over the years, my wife Joan and I decided to move to Necker permanently in 2006.
Over the course of close to 40 years, my family has seen the region progress in leaps and bounds, but there is so much more that can be done to enable it to truly thrive and reach its full potential.
With this in mind, supported by Virgin Unite, and together with Larry and Lucy Page, we launched the Unite BVI Foundation – a new non-profit foundation dedicated to tackling community and environmental challenges across the BVI. To celebrate the launch, we hosted a charity gala on Moskito Island this weekend; bringing together 250 leaders from the area, passionate about using their influence to support local projects that create positive change.
Collaborating with these change-makers, the foundation will engage with the local community to identify areas where we can make the most difference – be it advocating for the protection of the environment, or enriching the community by supporting local entrepreneurs, investing in education, and addressing public health and social welfare issues with sustainable solutions.
Working with Virgin Unite over the last 12 years has been an incredibly fulfilling adventure. Focused on uniting people behind entrepreneurial solutions to tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges, we’ve incubated a number of collaborations that are driving systemic change – these include, most notably, The Elders, Ocean Unite, OceanElders, Carbon War Room, The B Team and The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. We’re delighted to continue this work through Unite BVI for the benefit of the existing community and future generations to come.
I believe that wherever we live and work, we should invest in protecting and preserving the natural environment and enriching the quality of life for everyone within it. We’re excited to see what brilliant ideas, partnerships and initiatives spring from Unite BVI. Our overarching vision is to create opportunities that inspire and empower a generation of world-changers.