PRESS RELEASE

2 May 2017

SIR RICHARD BRANSON AND VIRGIN MEDIA BUSINESS SET TO MAKE THE UK VOOM

Sir Richard Branson hits the switch that sends Voom Fibre live

Today Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Media Business launch Voom Pitch, the UK and Ireland’s biggest pitching competition. For the first time since the competition’s conception in 2011, it will take to the road, travelling across the UK and Ireland, in search of the UK’s next great business ideas and inspiring budding entrepreneurs along the way.

To give small businesses across the UK the connectivity they need and deserve, Sir Richard Branson, at today’s event, will also switch on Virgin Media Business’ latest and most disruptive broadband service – Voom Fibre.

New research from Virgin Media Business, to coincide with Voom Pitch and the Voom Tour 2017, comes at a pivotal time in the UK as it shows that almost two in five people (38%) think they’ve had a great idea for a new business. However, more than 7 in 10 of this group – the equivalent of over 13.8 million people - suffer from ‘business diffidence’ and haven’t done anything with their idea due to a fear of failure.

Half the respondents who didn’t turn their ideas into reality saw a lack of funding as their main obstacle, followed by 37% who cited a lack of confidence preventing them from realising their dreams.

To help these 13.8 million UK residents unleash their business, Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson, said: “The Voom Bus is going on tour to seek out brilliant British entrepreneurs and to help them break down the business barriers in their way.

“We’re bringing the Voom Tour into communities and challenging people to put aside their fears and pitch their business ideas as we travel across the UK.”

“The Voom Tour is a fantastic way for people to get started on what could be the most significant journey of their business life.”

The Voom Tour

Over the next six months the Voom Tour schedule will include Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Dublin, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Winchester.

Virgin Media Business is looking for local people with the courage to pitch their business idea at each tour stop, giving them the chance to win a regional prize of £5,000 and one of ten chances to meet and receive advice from Sir Richard Branson. Experts from partners including Virgin StartUp will also be on hand to provide valuable expertise, help and advice on how to launch and scale a start-up.

The national competition will return in March 2018 and will again provide the chance to win a share of £1 million in prizes.

For more details on the tour and for anyone with a great business idea, who wants to register to pitch at their local event, they should visit virginmediabusiness.co.uk/voom.

Voom Fibre

With Voom Fibre, which is available from today, new and existing business customers will be eligible to receive ultrafast download speeds of up to 350Mbps as standard. A range of additional options, including increased upload speeds and support are also available. Prices start from £30 per month, with two additional options priced at £40 and £55 per month.

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Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company. Together we serve 27 million customers across 14 countries.

We support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds and a complete digital platform packed with next-generation products, applications and services.

With our £3bn Project Lightning programme we aim to reach 17 million premises by 2019, including the UK’s most under-served areas.