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Virgin Media Pioneers off to find the next Richard Branson

The online community aims to offer its members a network of peer support, entrepreneurial contacts and business advice.

Users will be able to share experiences and connect with other entrepreneurial people by posting video blogs, questions, comments and updates. Other members will then be able to add their feedback and help.

“Taking the support network online makes it accessible wherever aspiring entrepreneurs are, and whenever they need it,” explains Scott Cain, deputy chief exec of Enterprise UK.

?Opening up a world of business contacts and support will enable young entrepreneurs to take the first, second and every step along the journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.” 

Supplemented by ?offline (i.e. face to face) networking events, says Cain, the service will make a ?real difference to young entrepreneurs throughout the UK. Regular seminars and a yearly awards ceremony for the most successful ?pioneers” will also run.

“There is a huge amount we can do to unlock entrepreneurial potential in the UK and beyond,” adds Richard Branson. “Starting up your own business is a big challenge and many of the obstacles are daunting and, at times, can seem impossibly tough. One needs to put in a great amount of hard work, but with the right support and expert advice, young entrepreneurs can find a way through.”

Alongside the new community, Virgin Media also conducted research into the inspirations and barriers facing 18-30 year olds in Britain today:

  • 24 per cent of young Britons say their dream job would be to run their own business, but 23 per cent are worried about not having the right contacts or experience
  • Only six per cent of respondents are currently doing their dream job, and one quarter are currently unhappy in their job or educational circumstances
  • With 37 per cent of the vote, Sir Alan Sugar is the nation’s biggest entrepreneurial role model, followed by Stephen Fry (23 per cent) and Simon Cowell (19 per cent)

“Many young people have fantastic business ideas but need help making them a reality,” says Will McInnes, MD of social media specialist NixonMcInnes, which helped create the the Virgin Media Pioneers website.

“If the UK is going to generate the next Richard Branson, then we need to see more initiatives like this one, which provides young people with access to the contacts, advice and support they need.


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