Entrepreneurs Unite

Date: 02 Nov 2007


Initiated by Virgin Unite, the independent charitable arm of Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, Entrepreneurs Unite is an organisation that brings together like-minded entrepreneurs to invest in emerging markets and generate significant and sustainable social change.

Combining a robust financial infrastructure with a clear focus on capital preservation and sustainable re-investment, Entrepreneurs Unite enables its members to invest in socially beneficial businesses with the financial rigour of venture capitalists.

Founder members

Richard Branson

Since its inception in 1970, Richard Branson has expanded the Virgin Group to its current standing as one of the world’s best known and well respected brands. Today the Virgin Group includes Virgin Megastores, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Media, Virgin Trains and many more. Richard has worked across Africa for the past 15 years, during which time he has been consistently inspired by the entrepreneurial flair and talent that he has witnessed across much of the continent. He has founded Entrepreneurs Unite in order to harness this entrepreneurial potential, in the hope that the lives of some of the world’s poorest people can be radically transformed.

Duncan Bannatyne

Best known as the charismatic and outspoken panel member on the hit BBC series Dragons Den, Duncan Bannatyne first began his entrepreneurial career as an ice-cream salesman. But it was the founding of a series of nursing homes, Quality Care Homes Ltd, in 1986 that led to his meteoric financial success. Since then, Duncan has set up a number of other highly successful enterprises, including a hotel chain, Bannatyne Hotels Ltd and more recently a string of health clubs, Bannatyne Fitness which span the length and breath of the UK. In 2004 Duncan was awarded an OBE for his services to business and charity.

Andy Phillipps

Andy Phillipps was co-founder and CEO of Active Hotels, which has grown to become the largest online hotel booking company in Europe. Founded in 1999, Active Hotels has been recognised as the fastest growing technology company in the UK by Deloitte and has also been listed on the Sunday Times best employer list. In 2003 Andy was awarded Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. He sold the business to for $161 million in 2004 and was retained by to run their international operations. He has subsequently helped establish, expand and/or invest in a number of start-ups, including, I2O, Toptable, and Moyses-Stevens and is Entrepreneur in residence at INSEAD business school.

Ray Taylor

Between 1985 and 2000 Ray built and exited a number of successful international marketing communications and consultancy businesses. This included what became Britain’s largest independent marketing communications company, TPS Communications, with clients such as Barclays Financial Services, Microsoft and Marks & Spencer. In 2000 Ray formed a private venture capital business called Co-incidence which focuses on building niche new enterprises. He continues to expand his portfolio of private companies & charities including his long-term commitment to Entrepreneurs Unite which he was instrumental in creating from its inception.

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