Branson most respected in business

The man behind the Virgin brand, Richard Branson, is the UK's most admired entrepreneur, research finds.

The man behind the Virgin brand, Richard Branson, is the UK’s most admired entrepreneur, research finds.

According to a survey by Orange Business1, 35 per cent of UK workers cite Branson as the entrepreneur they would most like to emulate.

Lord Alan Sugar is the next most admired with 24 per cent of the vote, with Theo Paphitis (3 per cent), Deborah Meaden (3 per cent) and Peter Jones (3 per cent) not as popular.

The survey also highlights the important impact television programmes are having on raising the awareness of entrepreneurialism in the UK, with 57 per cent of respondents stating that programmes such as The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den had increased their awareness of entrepreneurs and what they do.

More than a third (37 per cent) of the country’s working population has come up with a business idea they believe could be successful.

These ‘dormant entrepreneurs’ thought of their business ideas in some unusual places, with 17 per cent of respondents believing they’ve had their best idea for a business or invention in bed.

Other inspiring locations included at work (11 per cent), on holiday (10 per cent) and in the pub (6 per cent). Nearly half of those surveyed had a positive view of Britain’s entrepreneurial credentials, stating that they believe the country is famous for producing entrepreneurs.

Mike Shirley, head of small business propositions at Orange parent company Everything Everywhere says, ‘We work with thousands of small businesses across the country and see this kind of entrepreneurial spirit every day.’

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