Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean
For over a decade, we’ve been raising funds for our chosen non-profit partners, to give back to those communities who host our customers for the duration of their amazing holidays. Every time a customer books a holiday with us, we donate £1 per adult and 50p per child to invest back into community and environmental projects in our holiday destinations.
The Branson Centre was opened in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 2011 by Sir Richard Branson, alongside teams from Virgin Holidays and Virgin Unite. Its mission is to support young Caribbean entrepreneurs aged 18-35 to develop and scale their businesses. Since its launch, over 1000 young entrepreneurs have received support through a mix of services including face-to-face training, access to finance, networking opportunities and an online training and mentoring programme.
Originally set up in Montego Bay, the centre has recently relaunched in Kingston to be closer to the island’s financial centre, opening up more business and funding opportunities. Meet some of the young entrepreneurs that Richard caught up with when he helped relaunch the centre in June 2017:
Branson Centre has been able to consistently produce results that directly impact the issue of growth in the Caribbean as well as bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and capital investment. Since its strategic shift last year to exclusively support businesses in the scale up phase, 2018 cohort entrepreneurs have seen an average 45% increase in net profit and pitched for over US$5.7. Branson Centre defines companies in the scale up phase as those in the J$25 Million - J$200 Million revenue bracket, looking to increase scale their operations, increasing revenue and entering new markets. Entrepreneurs support this growth through increased governance through a Board of Directors and an injection of capital via equity investors. Its high-touch services are delivered to two cohorts each year. The programme is offered across a 6-month period and incorporates rigorous training through business workshops and investment readiness bootcamps sponsored by NCB, as well as support through advisory boards and monthly CEO meetings with heads of industry.