Sir Richard Branson has beaten inventor James Dyson and Lord Alan Sugar in a poll to find the most inspirational British entrepreneurs. In the poll, which was conducted by business news website Smarta, Branson picked up a massive 39% of the votes, making him the most inspirational entrepreneur since the Queen was crowned in 1952.
Branson started his Virgin empire in 1968, when he was aged just 18. The company has grown into a 50,000-employee monolith, whose businesses operate in the cola, make-up, airlines, trains, ballooning, commercial space travel and health club markets, to name just a few. The business turns over £13bn, and has operations in 34 countries around the world.
Other high-ranking entrepreneurs in Smarta’s poll were Nick Robertson, founder of online clothing retailer ASOS at 5th place; Martha Lane Fox, founder of Lastminute.com at 6th place; Simon Cowell, founder of music label Syco at 13th place; and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web in 11th place.
MT reckons Richard Branson’s gutsy business approach and oodles of charisma have helped him to top the list. Not to mention that launching a space tourism company, just because you feel like it, is pretty darned cool…