… Richard Branson joined African business leaders in J’burg
Posted by Sade Williams
On Friday, 10 November, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group, joined a panel of inspiring business leaders and rising stars from across South Africa and Nigeria for Virgin Atlantic’s “Business is an adventure” event at Future Space, Johannesburg.
Hot off the heels of events across North America the “Business is an adventure” series touches down in South Africa for the first time to shine a spotlight on Africa’s talent.
The inspiring event brings together masters and mavericks of business for lively debates, and showcases aspiring entrepreneurs with global potential.
Commenting on the initiative, Branson said: “Virgin Atlantic began as a disruptor in the aviation industry and we’ve long supported likeminded game changers who aren’t afraid to dream bigger, reach higher and fly in the face of naysayers. We hope to bolster the entrepreneurial spirit that lives within Africa’s business leaders and support them on their next big adventures.”
Branson, who disrupted the aviation industry over 33 years ago with the launch of Virgin Atlantic, was joined by a panel of leaders who have played a pivotal role in changing their respective industries: Adrian Gore, Founder & CEO, Discovery Group; Caspar Lee, Social media icon and Co-founder, Influencer; and Sophia Ike-Onu, Founder & CEO, The5kShop.com.
The Stylish and Glamourous Sophia Ike-Onu was also a first place winner in the competition. Sophia is an architect by trade who founded The5kshop.com, which is the primary shopping destination for quality fashion pieces priced below 5,000 Naira. Her foray into business extends beyond The5kshop into other interests in food services, real estate and transportation.
Sophia and Sir Richard Branson shared the stage and discussed start-up businesses in Nigeria and how Sophia is making a success of The 5K shop.
Liezl Gericke, Head of Middle East and Africa, Virgin Atlantic, said: “We’re thrilled to have such innovative and fearless business people join us in Johannesburg, a city recognised as a powerhouse of innovation, progressive thinking, and entrepreneurship in Africa.
“Our flights allow thousands of people across South Africa and Nigeria to make their business an adventure every day, and we’re proud to celebrate that by bringing together local visionaries and leading figures to help more businesses take off. Virgin Atlantics ambition is to be the airline most loved by our customers by always putting them at the centre of everything we do.
“We will achieved this by investing in our customers, our people, the latest technology, and a £300 million investment in customer experience. We are the first European airline to have a fully enables fleet and have just invested in new A350-1000’s, by 2019 we will have an average fleet age of 5 and a half years, the youngest average fleet age in the sky”, he said.