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To what extent is Richard Branson, the English Tycoon, a very influential person in the British political life?

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  1. Introduction
  2. How Richard Branson built his own empire and his image
  3. Branson's success and failure vs. British institutions
    1. How Richard Branson succeeded in the airline industry
    2. The difficult relations between Richard Branson and the British Financial Institution: His experience in the City
  4. Richard Branson's socio-political actions
    1. How the cooperation between Branson and the Government was successful
    2. How Richard Branson get involved in the global warming fight
  5. Conclusion
  6. Bibliography

Richard Branson is Britain's best-known entrepreneur. This self-made man started his first company at the age of 17 and succeeded in building an empire. Worth £3 billion and believed to be the ninth-richest man in the UK, the 56-year-old founder of the Virgin empire inspired a generation of entrepreneurs by becoming not only influent in business activities but also in the British political life. Branson is not engaged in any political party and defines himself as a libertarian. He swings between the Conservative and the Labour Parties as long as the economic interests are saved. In December 1999, he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Millennium New Year's Honours List for ?services to entrepreneurship?.
The aim of this essay is to analyse how important the participation of Richard Branson in the British political life is. Indeed, because of his huge business activities that deal with numerous and various key sectors of the country such as the transport, the energies or the media, Branson has a privileged position vis-à-vis government officials. In a way, he can be considered as a political actor. In order to have a better understanding of this topic, we will first briefly present Richard Branson, known as the British tycoon. Then we will analyse one of his main successes and one of his main defeats within Britain, that are respectively, the launch of his company Virgin Atlantic Airways and his experience with the City of London in 1986. The choice of these cases is relevant as they both involved discussions and negotiations with British political institutions. Finally we will analyse his participation in political actions and political debates.

[...] Indeed in a capitalistic democracy such as the UK, business can either be a victim of the democracy or a privileged interest. That's why, Branson, who is moreover standing as an anticonformist and as a rebel entrepreneur is both recognized and criticised. Bibliography Books BOWER, Tom, Branson, London: Fourth Estate BRANSON, Richard, Losing my virginity, London: Virgin DEARLOVE, Des, Business the Richard Branson way: 10 secrets of the World's Greatest Brand-builder, New York: Amacom KETS de VRIES, Manfred F.R and Elizabeth FLORENT-TREACY, The New Global Leaders: Richard Branson, Percy Barnevik and David Simon, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass JACKSON, Tim, Virgin King : Inside Richard Branson's business empire, London: Harper Collins Periodicals BRANSON, Richard, ?Statement,? The Financial Times Nov BURCH, John ?Profiling the Entrepreneur,? Business Horizons, Sept-Oct 1986: pp 13-17. [...]


[...] In March 1991, Rifkind ratified the CAA recommendation and for Branson, ?this news was a lifeline and the reward for endless lobbying.'[13] In November 1991, Richard Branson, on behalf on Virgin Atlantic, announced that he was preparing a list of complaints alleging anti- competitive behaviour by British Airways, which he wanted to send to the European Commission, the Civil Aviation Authority and to the Department of Transport. For Branson, there was a surprising lack of legislation governing competition in the British airline industry. [...]


[...] Branson likes saying that ?People are [his] great asset and that his business maxim is that stat is first, customers second and shareholder third.? We will see in this study to what extent this sentence is appropriate in Branson's empire.[8] II / Branson's success and failure vis-à-vis British institutions In this part, we will study what Branson called most important decision': ?starting Virgin Atlantic', his airline company.[9] But we will also pay attention to one of his most important defeats: his temptation to the takeover fever in the City during 1986-1988. [...]

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