Richard Branson is looking to deal another blow to capitalism as we know it by helping a new generation of ethical and socially-minded entrepreneurs rise to the fore. Interested? If you fit into any of these three categories, the Virgin billionaire wants to hear from you:
• organisations which do business in a truly different way
• concepts which would help business become a force for good
• ideas which could genuinely help real people or benefit our planet.
But don’t get too excited. Winners of this competition won’t get a direct line to Branson’s billions. Instead, should you tickle his fancy, Branson will whizz you off to South Africa for a ‘once-in-a-lifetime trip’ shooting the breeze with Dickie, meeting his business connections, and staying on his ultra-luxury game reserve Ulusaba. You will also feature in his next book and be immortalised in print.
Speaking about his ‘Screw Business as usual’ initiative (it’s also his latest book), Branson says ‘[It’s] for those who, at the same time as wanting to develop a business and make a living, also want to do more to help people and the planet. It's a vibrant sea change from the way business was always done, when financial profit alone was the driving force.’
How to enter
Upload your innovative ideas or business model online at the Virgin Unite website, either as short videos or written pitches. An entry can be a story or brief description of a business or social enterprise in action anywhere in the world. Or, as Virgin’s PR machine suggests: ‘An inspiration – in words, thoughts or on film – that shows a new way of creating or transforming a business, or will create a consumer movement that will create demand for better products or services.’
Every month, the top five entries on the leader board – those with the most social shares (votes) – will receive a prize. Then, the top 10 ideas, as voted for by the online community by 17th April 2012, will be evaluated by an Independent Judging Panel who will select the Grand Prize Winner.
Enter here and good luck!