Fast Track’s chosen charities are Virgin Unite and Big Change. Fast Track entrepreneurs have generously donated over £2m to Virgin Unite, mainly at our annual Fast Track 100 awards dinner charity auction, co-hosted by Sir Richard Branson at his family’s home. Fast Track alumni have also participated in a series of endurance events, including the annual Virgin STRIVE Challenge to raise funds for Big Change.
Virgin Unite is the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group and the Branson family. They unite people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world.
In everything they do, they are uniting a global community that shares their belief that entrepreneurial ideas, together with the right people, can create positive change around the world. Virgin Unite’s overheads are covered by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, meaning that 100% of all donations received go directly to the frontline. virginunite.com
Guests at our annual Fast Track 100 awards dinner have the opportunity of bidding in an auction to join Sir Richard on a once in a lifetime Connection Trip to South Africa to visit the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg, and to stay at Richard’s private game reserve, Ulusaba.
Steve Bennett, founder of The Genuine Gemstone Company
“The visits to the Branson Centre and Soweto were both enlightening and inspirational. The people we met on the trip have all become great friends, and the return on our investment in terms of knowledge gained ranks among the smartest things we have ever done.”
Piers Linney, co-CEO of Outsourcery
“If someone has the opportunity to come on a Virgin Unite Connection Trip, screw it, just do it. I didn’t really know what to expect but the trip has exceeded all my expectations, massively. In terms of the access, the people, the places.”
Boyd Kershaw, Paul Wandless and Jason Luckhurst, of Practicus
“It was a life changing trip. Inspirational, heart warming and very very humbling. The school was full of enthusiastic believers who really want to make a difference and stop the cycle of poverty.”
Big Change was founded in 2010 by six friends including Holly and Sam Branson, to support and fund forward-thinking early stage projects, ideas and people that have the potential to drive long term, system change for young people in the UK. Each year Big Change organise a number of endurance events to raise money. Past events include a three day hike over the Highlands of Scotland, finishing on Ben Nevis, and an expedition from London to the Matterhorn in Switzerland entirely under human power.
In September 2016 a core team of 20 people will travel 2,000km, from the base of the Matterhorn in Switzerland, to the summit of Mount Etna in Sicily, entirely under human power. They will be joined by hundreds of people across the stages, all striving for a Big Change.
This epic challenge will include a 5 day hike through the Alps (stage 1), cycle the entire length of Italy (stages 2, 3 & 4), finishing with the STRIVE triathlon: swim to Sicily, mountain bike to the foothills of Mt Etna and then run a half-marathon to the summit of the volcano (stage 5).
To get involved or to find out more please visit strivechallenge.com
Steve & Sarah Bennett, The Genuine Gemstone Company
Richard Reed, innocent
Olly Ragg & Mike Tomkins, TopCashback
Nitin Passi, Missguided
Opportunity for Fast Track 100 participants to join the Branson family on the STRIVE Challenge hike stage