14TH MAY 2012, LONDON - From more than 500 inspirational entries, Sir Richard Branson and his non profit foundation Virgin Unite today announced that the global winner of the 2012 ‘Screw Business As Usual’ competition is Raise5, a new fundraising platform that creatively uses free time and talents to raise money for charity.
The winner announcement came at a special Screw Business As Usual fundraising Summit in London where, via videolink from Canada, Raise5 accepted their award and once-in-a lifetime prize - a connection trip to Sir Richard Branson’s home in South Africa to discuss their idea in person with Richard and Virgin Unite.
A wide variety of entries were submitted throughout the Virgin Unite competition, including a solar powered football, the world’s most ethical pants and a train carriage that allows passengers to share business ideas and strategy. Raise5, a donation-based start-up, was voted for by the public and made the overall Top 10 ideas, which were then put to a panel of inspiring judges, including Sir Richard.
Discussing the Raise5 concept, Sir Richard said: “It’s simple, entrepreneurial and it works. 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. 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. 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”.
Mike Tang, founder of Raise5, said: “There were so many fantastic entries but we took an idea that we felt could genuinely help. We’re so happy that our idea has been recognised by Sir Richard Branson. 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? And that’s when we came up with the idea for Raise5. 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”.
As part of the prize, Raise5 will get to meet frontline leaders who are making a difference, share ideas with fledgling business owners at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, South Africa and then get to spend several days in glorious Africa with Sir Richard and the rest of the group, experiencing animals in the wild and fantastic luxury at Ulusaba, Sir Richard's private game reserve.
Sir Richard and Virgin Unite thanked all of the Screw Business As Usual entrants for their ideas, some of which will be featured in Sir Richard’s next book.
For more information on the work of Virgin Unite and the Screw Business As Usual movement, visit www.virginunite.com .
Notes to Editors
Started by a team of young social entrepreneurs, Raise5 has overseen the creation of an online community where people can purchase the knowledge and skills of others for a charitable donation of only five dollars. Mike Tang, the company’s founder described Raise 5 as “the only online marketplace that enables individuals to leverage their skills, talents, and creativity as a force for good”. www.raise5.com
About Virgin Unite
Virgin Unite is the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. We unite people to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way. Our aim is to help revolutionise the way businesses, governments and the social sector work together – driving business as a force for good. This is based on the belief that this is the only way we can tackle the scale and urgency of the challenges facing the world today. Virgin Unite’s overheads are covered by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, meaning that 100% of additional donations received go direct to the frontline where they are needed most. For more information please visit www.virginunite.com. Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/virginunite or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/VirginUnite
Screw Business As Usual Judging Panel
The Screw Business As Usual competition entries were judged by Sir Richard and a panel of inspiring judges including Jane Tewson, CEO of Igniting Change; Creel Price, founder of Accelerate Global; Peter Boyd, COO of the Carbon War Room; Tony Banks, CEO of Balhousie Care Group; venture capitalist Mark Thompson; Joe Polish, founder of Piranha Marketing Inc and Jean Oelwang, Richard Branson’s right hand woman and CEO of Virgin Unite.
FOR PICTURES, DETAILS ABOUT THE WINNER OR FOR MORE INFORMATION ON VIRGIN UNITE, PLEASE CONTACT GEMMA HARRIS AT LINEUP MEDIA ON GEMMA@LINEUPMEDIA.CO.UK OR 01202 798989/07870 603736.
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