Anyone who was into rock music in the early 1970s will remember those tiny Virgin Records adverts in the back of music papers like Sounds and Melody Maker. Much of the material on offer by the private record label has been forgotten, but Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells album put the name Virgin – and its owner, motivational speaker Richard Branson – firmly on the map. The album is said to have sold between 15m and 17m copies.
Before selling records, the 16-year-old Richard set up a free publication called Student, the first issue of which made over £5,000 in advertising. From those humble beginnings, Sir Richard went on to become Britain’s most successful high-profile entrepreneur and business personality. The superb motivational speaker is now a billionaire – Virgin Records was sold to Thorn EMI in 1992 for $1bn – with his Virgin Group business involved in over 200 companies in 30-plus countries. Virgin businesses have operated in the mobile phone market, rail transport and even space travel (Virgin Galactic).
Sir Richard is well-known for having dyslexia, which is why he struggled educationally in his early years, but also for having a strong spirit of adventure that has seen him making various record-breaking attempts in hot air balloons, yachts, and even amphibious vehicles.
Motivational speaker Branson has many anecdotes to tell of the challenging activities he often undertakes – such kitesurfing the Great Barrier Reef – and is the author of many best-selling business books. These include Business Stripped Bare, Screw Business As Usual, Secrets They Won’t Teach You At Business School, and How To Listen, Learn, Laugh And Lead.
A keen advocate for human rights and protecting the planet, Branson has helped found and been involved in various bodies. For example, with the goal of solving difficult global conflicts The Elders included Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, the musician Peter Gabriel and others.
Branson was the founding sponsor of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, he focused on global warming and energy resources by setting up the Carbon War Room, he created the Branson School of Entrepreneurship in South Africa, and he once hosted a discussion on environmental issues at his own Necker Island in the British Virgin Isles – the event was attended by Google’s Larry Page, Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales and Tony Blair, ex-UK Prime Minister.
To book Sir Richard Branson as the speaker at your event, contact Champions Motivational Speakers by completing the online form or calling +44 1509 85 29 27.