The world is obsessed with changing businesses for good. Ask the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship South Africa (Branson Centre) for its take on that, and it’ll tell you that is actually a misnomer. Fundamentally, business is good. The focus of the Branson Centre is entrepreneurialism and social responsibility. The Branson Centre strongly believes business must be good for people, the planet, and for profit.

Sir Richard Branson and his 400 businesses that form the Virgin Group brings the ‘rock ‘n roll’ to the business world. It’s flashy and sexy – and the group is also an iconic industry disruptor. It’s in its DNA.

With that in mind, the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship South Africa was founded in 2019 to embed purpose-led business skills to challenge and change business for good.

The time for inspiring slideshows and motivational webinars is over. To change business for good requires a fresh approach with unprecedented support for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurialism in South Africa.

The focus must be on real-time deliverables. Social responsibility is an opportunity for business to effect social change through partnerships and collaborations to solve social difficulties. It is that which creates sustained social, environmental, and economic impact.

Accelerating entrepreneurs is a science. The Branson Centre developed an innovative approach that takes in eight core areas that can influence entrepreneurs to scale and leverage their impact: Purpose, Product, People, Brand, Partnership, Processes, Planning, and Finance. It uses two programmes to drive this: Ignite is a 6-month system to boost an entrepreneur’s mission; Accelerate is a 1,000-day partnership that supports the entrepreneur for success.

What entrepreneurs really need is access to business tools, resources, and industry experts. They also need access to networks and investors. In this, the Branson Centre builds partnerships and collaborations for entrepreneurial sustainability.

Effecting social change – and business as a force for good – can only occur in a receptive community. Collaborations and partnerships outline this purpose-led mission. One way to tackle this is through the United Nation (UN)’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to build sustainable economies and societies, and a healthy planet.

Branson Centre’s Nwabisa Mayema said: “Entrepreneurs need to look at the SDGs and their relevance to everyone, and how entrepreneurs can play a role as opposed to looking at SDGs as a thing that maybe the politicians handle. It’s how you affect them in your business. Let’s just do good business.

It is about community. Thriving people are connected to each other. Thriving people live on a healthy planet and therefore you have great communities that continue to grow and are also included in the economy.”

South Africa needs an economy centered on business for good. This will create future economic growth and jobs. Challenging entrepreneurs – and corporates in South Africa – to rethink their strategies will lead to greater economic democracy, a healthier planet, and a thriving society. That’s the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship South Africa.

That’s business for good.

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