Branson named king of business for Queen's jubilee

The Virgin boss topped the Smarta Diamond Jubilee special poll, consisting of the top 60 entrepreneurs who have lived during the Queen's reign. Branson flew to victory with 39% of the overall votes, beating off competition from Lord Sugar and Sir James Dyson who finished second and third respectively.

The 61-year-old Branson launched his first business in 1968, 16 years after the Queen's coronation, and the rest, as they say, is history. His Virgin brand has grown into one of the world's most respected companies, employing 50,000 people in 34 countries with current revenue hovering around £13bn.

The Queen knighted Branson for his contribution to commerce in the Millennium Honours List in 1999 and it appears the adventurous entrepreneur is as popular as ever.

Smarta founder and CEO Shaa Wasmund believes Branson topped the poll because of his knack of connecting with the public.

"I think it's down to his unique ability to be both hugely successful and keep the common touch," she says. "Despite being a billionaire, people still feel they can relate to him.

"Undoubtedly this is one of many qualities that have helped him be so successful throughout the years."

Here's Smarta's full list of the 60 most inspirational entrepreneurs of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee:

  1. Sir Richard Branson

    Sir Richard Branson

  2. James Dyson - Dyson

    James Dyson

  3. Lord Alan Sugar - Amshold Group, Apprentice

    Lord Sugar

  4. Dame Anita Roddick- The Bodyshop

    Anitta Roddick

  5. Nick Robertson - ASOS

    Nick Robertson

  6. Martha Lane Fox -, Lucky Voice


  7. Karan Bilimoria - Cobra Lager

    K Bilmoria

  8. John Bird - The Big Issue
    John bird

  9. Sir Martin Sorrell - WPP Group


  10. Michelle Mone - Ultimo

    Michelle Mone
  11. Sir Tim Berners-Lee - Inventor of the World Wide Web
  12. Mike Lynch - Autonomy
  13. Simon Cowell - Syco
  14. James Caan - Alexander Mann Group, Dragons' Den, Hamilton Bradshaw
  15. Duncan Bannatyne - Bannatyne Group, Dragons' Den
  16. Hilary Devey - The Pall-Ex Group, Dragons' Den
  17. Peter Jones - Phones International, Dragons' Den
  18. Deborah Meaden - Dragons' Den and various investments
  19. Tim Smit - The Eden Project
  20. Richard Reed - Innocent Drinks
  21. Bernie Ecclestone - F1
  22. Charles Dunstone - Carphone Warehouse
  23. Brent Hoberman -,
  24. Mike Ashley - Sports Direct
  25. Jamie Oliver - Jamie's Italian
  26. Johnnie Boden - Boden
  27. Terence Conran - Designer, Restaurateur
  28. Steve Pankhurst- Friends Reunited
  29. Sir Clive Sinclair - Sinclair Radionics, Sinclair Vehicles
  30. Cath Kidston - Cath Kidston retail
  31. Theo Paphitis - Ryman, Boux Avenue, Dragons' Den
  32. Michael Acton Smith - Moshi Monsters,, MindCandy
  33. Michael Birch- Bebo
  34. Hayley Parsons - GoCompare
  35. John Timpson - Timpson
  36. Dame Vivienne Westwood - fashion designer
  37. Sarah Beeny -, Tepilo
  38. Jacqueline Gold - Ann Summers, Knickerbox
  39. Peter Cullum - Towergate
  40. Dame Mary Perkins - Specsavers
  41. Sir Philip Green - Arcadia Group
  42. Sir Tom Farmer - Kwik-Fit
  43. Charles Saatchi - Saatchi and Saatchi
  44. Kanya King- MOBO Awards
  45. Anthony Bamford - JCB
  46. John Caudwell - Phones 4U
  47. Chrissie Rucker - The White Company
  48. Simon Fuller - XIX Entertainment
  49. Toni Mascolo - Toni and Guy
  50. Sir Tom Hunter- Sports Division, West Coast Capital
  51. Simon Woodroffe - YO! Sushi
  52. Julian Dunkerton - Supergroup
  53. Sir Gulam Noon - Noon Products
  54. Peter Boizot - Pizza Express
  55. Delia Smith - Author, Chef, TV presenter
  56. Linda Bennett - LK Bennett
  57. Mike Clare - Dreams
  58. Simon Nixon-
  59. Charlie Mullins - Pimlico Plumbers
  60. Stelios Haji-Ioannou - EasyJet

To see Sir Richard Branson's exclusive message to Smarta readers, click here

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