Sir Richard Branson today launched his latest book, Screw Business as Usual, in Johannesburg, South Africa in early December. The book calls on people to turn capitalism on its head by ensuring we do what’s right for people and planet.
The book was inspired by the many people who are already screwing business as usual who Richard has met through his work with his non-profit Foundation, Virgin Unite. This includes some incredible local entrepreneurs who are part of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, which was started by Sir Richard and Virgin Unite to help create hundreds of jobs in South Africa.
New wave of entrepreneurs
Sir Richard Branson says, “I have written this book for the new wave of emerging entrepreneurs as well as existing business people who are transforming their organisations. For those who, at the same time as wanting to develop a business and make a living, are wanting to do more to help people and planet. It’s a vibrant and definite sea change from the way business was always done, when financial profit was a driving force. Today, people aren’t afraid to say ‘Screw Business As Usual’ – and show they mean it. The great news is that doing good is also good for business.”
Tracey Webster, CEO of The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship says, “We believe the only way to successfully drive entrepreneurship in South Africa is by collaborating with Government and other industry partners to enable entrepreneurs greater access to support, mentorship, training and investment opportunities. In fact, many of our entrepreneurs are involved in the book launch today. There’s Mongezi Mtati, founder of WordStart, who helped launch the book using social media marketing or Eight Bit Octopus; a group of five entrepreneurs who produced the event’s amazing digital content. What’s wonderful is that these entrepreneurs are Screwing Business as Usual by being community-minded at the start of their businesses.”
Also featured in the book are the many inspiring stories of international companies that have changed the way they do business. They include ‘the godfathers of good’ and Virgin Unite trustees Ben & Jerry’s, Marks & Spencer’s that aims to be the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015; General Electric’s Ecomagination and PUMA.
Surviving the future
“Due to mounting pressure from those who have already started screwing business as usual, the only way businesses are going to survive in this tough economic climate is if they embrace a new form of capitalism. In writing this book, I’ve realised that we’ve really been on a practice run, getting ready for the greatest challenge and opportunity of our lifetime. Never has there been a more exciting time for all of us to explore this great next frontier where the boundaries between work and purpose are merging into one; where doing good, really is good for business,” explains Sir Richard.
Locally, Virgin businesses are fast employing the book’s principles too. The Virgin South Africa businesses are integrally involved in the Branson Centre, sharing their expertise, opening doors for the entrepreneurs to their networks, procuring their services and sponsoring opportunities such as the UK Tech City Exchange.
“Globally, the Virgin Group has learnt a lot from the leaders featured in Screw Business as Usual and continues on its journey to transform itself into a business force for good, for people and planet – but we are no means perfect! We are however committed to evolving and improving how we do things for the better,” concludes Sir Richard.
Sir Richard is in South Africa with Virgin Unite and a group of connected members of the community. This is the first Connection Trip of the 24902 community mentioned in the Screw Business as Usual book. These individuals are all looking to become forces for good in their own communities and areas.
Get involved and win
All of Sir Richard’s royalties from the sale of Screw Business as Usual will be used towards furthering the work of Virgin Unite. You can help write the second book – but this time it will be crowd-written by the global community. To get involved, public can share how they plan to Screw Business as Usual on www.virginunite.com/screwbusinessasusual. The idea with the most ‘likes’ wins a place on Sir Richard Branson’s next South Africa Virgin Unite Connection Trip in 2012.