Richard Branson: schools need enterprise culture



Richard Branson has called for a change in the way children are educated in state schools, with the Virgin Founder expressing his belief that an enterprise culture in education establishments would greatly benefit students.

Speaking to school reporters from Lincoln Castle Academy, Branson made it clear that he was a firm believer in teaching the basics of business to the next generation.

“It’s important people do learn the difference between gross and net, and how Tesco, Virgin or Apple works. Some of the things people study at school are not particularly relevant for when they actually leave school,” explained Branson.

“I think the best way of learning to run a business is actually to run a business. As part of the school curriculum, if everybody just set up a little business within their school – it could maybe even be a fictional business, with fictional money and so on.”

irgin currently runs a number of schemes to help young entrepreneurs make the most of their bright ideas and business opportunities. with Virgin Media Pioneers in England, the Virgin Academy in Poland and Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship in South Africa and Jamaica offering young people the chance to network, spend time with mentors and learn about how business works on a practical level.

As well as this Virgin Unite and Virgin Money have been working with the UK government on delivering the newly introduced Start-Up Loans scheme, where young entrepreneurs are given low interest loans to get their companies off the ground. As Branson pointed out, its important to nurture young talent, with the biggest success stories coming from the unlikeliest of places: “Business is simply coming up with an idea that’s going to improve other people’s lives and if you can do that you’re enterprising and you can become an entrepreneur. A lot of very big businesses begin with just a very small idea.”

So, what do you think? Should schools work harder to install a culture of enterprise, or have we got the right balance at the moment? Let us know