PUBLIC AND KEYNOTE SPEAKER; BUSINESSMAN; ENTREPRENEUR; AUTHOR
ENTREPRENEURSHIP, BUSINESS, HUMANITARIAN, PANEL DISCUSSIONS, EVENT SPEAKING, BESPOKE EVENTS
Travel From: England
Fee: $400,000 + US
Richard Branson first stepping into entrepreneurship at the age of 17 by establishing a national magazine and student advisory centre, Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin brand are now some of the best known names in international media, travel, finance, music and leisure. Virgin encompasses more than 200 countries worldwide and employs approximately 50,000 people in 29 countries.
Virgin was founded in 1970, and was originally a mail-order record retailer. Shortly after, the first of the Virgin music stores was opened, and Branson began recording music when Mike Oldfield recorded Tubular Bells. This first album went on to sell more than 5 million copies, and Virgin Music Group’s success was firmly established.
In 1984, Branson formed Virgin Atlantic Airways, which is now the second-largest British long-haul international airline.
Since 1985, Sir Richard has been involved in a number of world record attempts, both on water and in the air, and his Virgin Atlantic Flyer was the largest hot air balloon ever flown. Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space tourism business, was launched in 2004.
Sir Richard is a strong believer that all businesses involved in transportation, energy and fossil fuels should be at the forefront of developing environmentally-friendly business strategies. To that end, in 2008, Virgin Atlantic became the first commercial airline to fly a 747 on biofuel. He is also focussed on Virgin Unite, an arm of the Virgin Group that looks into entrepreneurial approaches to social and environmental issues.
Sir Richard collaborated with Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel and Desmond Tutu to announce Elders, a group of leaders who contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to tackle some of the toughest issues in the world. He set up War Room in Africa to help coordinate health efforts, advise on best practices and monitor and alert the world to new diseases.