Richard Branson

He’s a hero to most entrepreneurs, and any businessperson worth their salt knows his life story: school-leaver at 15, major record-seller at 20, convicted VAT fraudster at 21, millionaire at 23. In 1970 he founded Virgin as a mail-order record retailer, and shortly afterward he opened a record shop in Oxford Street, London. In 1972 he built a recording studio in Oxfordshire where the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded ‘Tubular Bells’.With around 200 companies in over 30 countries, the Virgin Group has now expanded into leisure, travel, tourism, mobile, broadband, TV, radio, music festivals, finance, and health. He is also very proud of the work of Virgin Unite, his not-for-profit entrepreneurial foundation.