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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.

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