Sir Richard Branson pips Lord Sugar in poll to be the UK’s favourite Entrepreneur

While Lord Alan Sugar just missed out on the top spot with 24 per cent of the vote, his fellow entrepreneurs, including Theo Paphitis (3 per cent), Deborah Meaden (3 per cent) and Peter Jones (3 per cent) failed to gain as many votes. Never the less, the survey did highlight the important impact television programmes are having on raising the awareness of entrepreneurialism in the UK. 57 per cent of respondents stated that programmes such as The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den had increased their awareness of entrepreneurs and what they do.

This entrepreneurial spirit is already rubbing off, with Orange research showing more than a third of the country’s working population has come up with a business idea they believe could be successful. It was also found that these “dormant entrepreneurs” thought of their business ideas in some unusual places with 17 per cent of respondents believing they’ve had their best idea for a business or invention in bed. Other inspiring locations included at work (11 per cent), on holiday (10 per cent) and in the pub (6 per cent). Nearly half of those surveyed had a positive view of Britain’s entrepreneurial credentials, stating that they believe the country is famous for producing entrepreneurs.

Mike Shirley, Head of Small Business Propositions at Everything Everywhere, said: “We work with thousands of small businesses across the country and see this kind of entrepreneurial spirit everyday. Small businesses make up the lion’s share of the UK economy and their drive for innovation should be celebrated and encouraged. Through this competition and through the advice and support we offer every day, we’re demonstrating our commitment to these inspirational individuals and companies.”