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Branson comes out on top

Business trends come and go but Britain’s entrepreneurs still regard Richard Branson as the embodiment of the communicator who makes things happen and inspires business growth.

When owner-managers at 200 UK small firms were asked to name their most admired communicator, Virgin boss Richard Branson was easily named number one, beating off the challenge of US president Barack Obama and even charismatic former South African leader, Nelson Mandela.

“UK entrepreneurs clearly admire someone like Richard Branson who’s been there and done it,” says Leon Mangan, channel sales director of Siemens Enterprise Communications, who commissioned the research.

“Running a small firm can be a lonely job and owner-managers are always looking for inspiration and practical ideas to support their efforts. We’re quite relieved as well that Gene Hunt didn’t poll any higher in the survey.”

Siemens Enterprise Communications commissioned the research as part of “The British Business Boost”, a business support initiative which will see an SME win £50,000 worth of consultancy and advice.

The survey saw Richard Branson come out on top as the best communicator, winning 43 per cent of the vote, followed by Obama (18 per cent), Mandela (10 per cent), actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley (nine per cent), and then Stuart Rose and Duncan Bannatyne (both only eight per cent).

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