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Business role models

Richard Branson named ‘Ultimate Business Role Model’ by young entrepreneurs

New research from Amway UK has revealed that one quarter (25 per cent) of people under the age of 25 consider Richard Branson as the Ultimate Business Role Model. The self-proclaimed ‘King of Self-Publicity’ beat former young entrepreneur Lord Alan Sugar (21 per cent). Superstar couple David and Victoria (15 and 13 per cent respectively), proved the Beckhams really do mean business by finishing third and fourth in the poll, with Sugar’s Apprentice sidekick Karren Brady (12 per cent) finishing in fifth.


The research into young entrepreneurialism and role models was commissioned by Amway UK to mark the launch of Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2013, a nationwide competition to uncover Britain’s most promising young entrepreneur.


Singers Rihanna and Cheryl Cole who have monetised their pop-star appeal by creating successful business ventures are proving inspirational to young people beating extravert Easy Jet owner Stelios Haji-Ioannou (three per cent) and Arcadia’s Sir Phillip Green (two per cent) in the poll. Pop princess Rihanna’s ability to turn her popularity into a high-street fashion business ranked her higher on the list of role models than arguably the world’s most successful supermodel Kate Moss (2.5 per cent). Kate, who despite only being introduced to the world of business by Topshop owner Philip Green, still finished higher than him.  


The under 25s’ business role models are:

1.     Richard Branson

2.     Lord Alan Sugar

3.     David Beckham

4.     Victoria Beckham

5.     Karren Brady

6.     Cheryl Cole

7.     Rihanna

8.     Stelios Haji-Ioannou

9.     Kate Moss

10.  Sir Philip Green

Proving today’s younger generation to be hugely ambitious and with their sights firmly set on emulating the success of Richard Branson, the research found that over one fifth (21 per cent) of students have embark on an entrepreneurial venture before they graduate. Male students are 21 per cent more likely to do so than their female counterparts.


25 per cent of students cited supplementing their income as their primary motivation for starting a business; a highly enthused 10 per cent reported having a great idea that couldn’t wait, whilst an ambitious five per cent of students think that to be a successful entrepreneur ‘you need to start young’ echoing the well documented young beginnings of Branson and Sugar.  


When asked about the biggest influences on their career path to date, over a third (35 per cent) of respondents revealed their parents were the biggest influence, followed by teachers (17 per cent) and friends (15 per cent).


Sheryl Franklin-Worth, Corporate Affairs Manager at Amway UK says: "It’s very encouraging to see that today’s younger generation are inspired by business success stories like Richard Branson and Lord Sugar. It reflects that enterprise is seen as positive in the UK which is great news for Amway UK who are committed to finding the next generation of entrepreneurs, the results help us get to know our target audience.”


To enter Britain’s Top Real Role Model visit Nominations are now open and close on 1st October. Successful shortlisted applicants will be asked to submit a brief business plan and the winner is announced early November 2013.