14 February 2013
Virgin Media Pioneers put entrepreneurship centre stage
Pioneers is just one example of how Virgin Media is championing undiscovered talent. The programme aims to encourage and empower young people across the UK towards ambitious careers and businesses, inspired by the Virgin spirit of enterprise.
Virgin Media Pioneers reaches thousands of aspiring young people every month. 4000 regularly take part in the active digital community with hundreds participating in transformational events and projects.
During 2012, an initiative called ‘The Project’ aimed to empower young people across the UK to demonstrate their creative talent while gaining tangible business experience. The initiative kicked off in May with 1500 18-30 year olds applying to take part. 250 of the most promising applicants received phone interviews and feedback. 100 were then selected for paid work experience with event and creative industry partners across the UK. All 100 also completed Enterprise Training, providing them with an Open College Network (OCN) accredited qualification. The aim of the process was both to select the most appropriate ten finalists, and to help equip all 100 with the skills and experience necessary to organise and stage a large-scale entertainment event.
Based on their performance, ten Pioneers were chosen by Richard Branson to form the final project team – a group of talented individuals who would be responsible for creating, organising and staging a unique event at London’s famous Royal Opera House.
Using the PR, budgeting and marketing skills they had developed during ‘The Project’, the team staged the impressive event in September, called ‘Impatience is a Virtue’, featuring live performances by The Noisettes, Tanya Lacey, Nathan Flutebox Lee and The Clinic, George The Poet, Rickstar, Blizzard and Suli Breaks.
Looking to build on the success of the event, the ten Pioneers decided to use funds raised on the night to reward other Pioneers whose business ideas best demonstrated the spirit of ‘Impatience is a Virtue’. Five great new businesses were shortlisted from the Pioneers online community with one lucky winner walking away with the Impatience is a Virtue Award and £500 to spend on their business.
Georgio Savvides took first place with his novel business idea for blending different music genres to form a hip hop orchestra that would appeal to both young and older audiences alike. “I want to change the face of classical and hip hop music,” Savvides explained. “From personal experience of performing piano and attending various events around the country, I’ve found that classical music was never truly appreciated enough from the younger generation and vice versa with hip hop, and I really want to change all that. What I had in mind was to create, in a way, a ‘mini orchestra’ or group, but with a twist. I want to blend classical music, along with hip hop and R’n’B, to perform a unique mix of current and old songs”.
Other Pioneers shortlisted for the award included Mike Ferguson, Antony Martin, Haylea-Blue Waters, Alex Browning and Rebecca Sullivan. To see what these and other Pioneers are up to, check out their profiles here. Find out how you can collaborate with Georgio Savvides here.