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Why did Richard Branson call it Virgin? Company name origin explored

Mafalda Costa July 12, 2021
Why did Richard Branson call it Virgin? Company name origin explored

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Why did Richard Branson call his company Virgin? After reaching the edge of space on Sunday, 11 July 2021, with his Virgin Galactic endeavour, the name is omnipresent in today’s headlines. So what’s the story behind Branson company’s name, Virgin Group?

How Richard Branson made a fortune

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, adventurer, investor, and author, popularly known as one of the founders of the Virgin Group.

Branson founded the Virgin Group in the 1970s, which now controls more than 400 companies in various fields – from travel to telecommunications, health to banking and music to leisure.

Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s and 1990s after he founded Virgin Records.

Once the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, released Tubular Bells, Virgin Records went on to sign with iconic names ranging from the Sex Pistols to The Rolling Stones.

Richard Branson is also known to be a risk-taker who loves to challenge himself time and again with record-breaking adventures, including the fastest ever Atlantic Ocean crossing, a series of oceanic balloon journeys and kitesurfing across the Channel.

Most recently, after nearly 17 years of development and over a billion dollars invested in Virgin Galactic, Branson achieved one of his dreams and reached space.

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Why did Richard Branson call it Virgin?

On Sunday, 11 July 2021, the Virgin Galactic spacecraft VSS Unity reached the edge of space (86 kilometres or 53 miles).

This made Branson the first billionaire founder of a space company to travel to the edge of space. Jeff Bezos is slated to rocket into suborbital space aboard his own company’s spacecraft on 20 July.

Branson’s latest achievement has put the company’s name front and center and piqued people’s curiosity about the reason behind his company’s name, Virgin.

According to Celeb Answers, when Branson and friend Nick Powell started their first business together in the form of a record shop, they were “virgins” in the business.

One of their first employees suggested the name, which is a humorous acknowledgement of the men’s inexperience when first starting their company.

Being new to something is being a virgin to it, as was Branson.

What does Branson’s flight mean?

Branson’s flight is a landmark moment for the commercial space industry.

According to CNN Business, the up-and-coming sector has for years been seeking to make suborbital space tourism a viable business.

Branson’s successful flight could mean that Virgin Galactic will soon begin flying paying customers.

More than 600 people have already reserved tickets priced at $200,000 to $250,000 so far.

The company is expected to reopen ticket sales soon, though at a higher price point.

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Mafalda Costa is a second year BA Journalism student originally from Portugal. Her main passions if life are music, arts and culture, while she's particularly knowledgable on cinema and anime.