Sir Richard Branson announces Screw Business As Usual winner

A new fundraising platform from Toronto has been revealed as the winner of Sir Richard Branson’s global search for socially innovative start-ups.

The Screw Business As Usual competition – which was named after Branson’s latest book and run through his charitable foundation, Virgin Unite – considered entries from around the world, from firms that were doing business differently, and for the greater good.

Explaining why his panel selected Raise5 – which uses individuals’ free time and talents to raise money for charity – Sir Richard said: “It’s simple, entrepreneurial and it works. Raise5 is about leveraging your skills, talents and creativity as a force for good and that’s exactly what we’re asking business leaders to consider in the way that they approach the world of work.

“There were so many fantastic entries but Raise5 stood out for me as a perfect example of how anyone can think differently to affect change.”

Other entries included a solar powered football, the world’s ‘most ethical pants’ and a train carriage in which passengers can share business ideas and strategy.

Branson added: “The sheer number of companies that entered the competition who want to be successful and profitable but also want to do more to help people and the planet is inspirational.

“Profit alone is now not the only driving force for many businesses.”

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As part of their prize, the founders of Raise5 will travel to South Africa to visit new business owners at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, before spending several days with Sir Richard at his private game reserve, Ulusaba.

Mike Tang, co-founder of Raise5, said: “We’re so happy that our idea has been recognised by Sir Richard. We wanted to create a new way to give back which is fun and convenient. Looking around, everyone has talents, so we thought, how can we turn those talents into donations?

“We’re so looking forward to the next steps for Raise5, working with Virgin Unite and getting the Screw Business As Usual message out there.”


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