International Entrepreneurship Assignment Sample

Richard Branson's Journey: Unveiling the Intricacies of Diversified International Entrepreneurship and the Global Impact of the Virgin Group.

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Introduction Of Brief about international entrepreneur and international entrepreneurship Assignment

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International entrepreneurship is a term used to describe the process of creating and managing a business that operates across international borders. This type of entrepreneurship involves identifying opportunities in foreign markets and leveraging resources to create a competitive advantage (HESSELS, 2019). According to Alexander Tabares (2020), international entrepreneurship is "a process of discovery, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities across national borders to create future goods and services (Tabares, 2020)." However, an international entrepreneur is an individual who is involved in the creation and management of a business that operates across national borders. This person must be able to navigate the complexities of different cultures, regulations, and economic systems to be successful. According to Indujeeva K. Peiris (2012), an international entrepreneur is "an individual who engages in international entrepreneurship by discovering, evaluating, and exploiting opportunities beyond national borders to create future goods and services (Peiris, 2012)."

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The selection for an international entrepreneur for this study is Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group. Branson is a well-known entrepreneur who has created a global business empire that operates in a variety of industries, including music, travel, and telecommunications (Dr. Niphadkar, 2017). Branson's ventures match with the definitions of international entrepreneurship and international entrepreneur because he has successfully identified and exploited opportunities in foreign markets to create new goods and services. For example, Branson launched Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984, which now operates flights to over 30 destinations around the world (Virgin Atlantic, 2023).

In addition, Branson has demonstrated his ability to navigate the complexities of different cultures and economic systems. For example, he has expanded the Virgin Group into emerging markets such as India, where he launched Virgin Mobile in 2008 (Financial Times, 2008). Branson's success in international entrepreneurship has been recognized by numerous awards and accolades, including being knighted by the Queen of England in 1999 for his services to entrepreneurship.

empire through his ability to identify and exploit opportunities in foreign markets.

Briefly comment on the type/theme of International Entrepreneurship chosen

Richard Branson's international entrepreneurship ventures are quite diverse in terms of the industries he operates in. From music to travel to telecommunications, he has been able to create successful businesses across a wide range of sectors. This type of international entrepreneurship is commonly referred to as diversified international entrepreneurship. Diversified international entrepreneurship involves operating in multiple industries or markets across international borders. This strategy allows entrepreneurs to spread risk and take advantage of opportunities in different sectors or regions (Ideström, 2017). Branson's Virgin Group is a prime example of diversified international entrepreneurship, as it operates in various industries and markets around the world.

Another theme of Branson's international entrepreneurship is disruptive innovation. He has a reputation for challenging traditional business models and disrupting established industries. For example, Virgin Atlantic Airways disrupted the airline industry by offering a high-quality, low-cost alternative to traditional carriers. Similarly, Virgin Mobile disrupted the telecommunications industry by introducing innovative pricing models and user-friendly services. Overall, Branson's international entrepreneurship ventures demonstrate the importance of adaptability, innovation, and risk-taking in creating successful businesses across international borders (Madan, 2020).

Background to the entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial journey so far for both the chosen International Entrepreneurship and their venture

Richard Branson's entrepreneurial journey has been long and successful, beginning with the launch of Virgin Records in 1972. The company quickly became one of the world's largest independent music labels, signing well-known artists such as the Sex Pistols and Culture Club. Branson continued to expand the Virgin brand into new industries, including travel, telecommunications, and financial services. One of Branson's most significant ventures was the launch of Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984 (Schawbel, 2018). The airline disrupted the airline industry by offering high-quality, low-cost transatlantic flights. Despite initial scepticism, Virgin Atlantic quickly gained a loyal following and is now one of the world's leading airlines, operating flights to over 30 destinations around the world. In addition to Virgin Atlantic, Branson has launched numerous other successful businesses, including Virgin Mobile, Virgin Money, and Virgin Galactic. Each of these ventures has disrupted established industries and introduced innovative new products and services (WION, 2021).

Branson's entrepreneurial journey has not been without its challenges. In the early 1990s, he faced financial difficulties due to the failure of Virgin Records' distribution arm. However, he was able to turn the company around and has continued to build the Virgin brand into a global empire. Overall, Branson's entrepreneurial journey has been characterized by a willingness to take risks, challenge the status quo, and disrupt established industries. His ventures have had a significant impact on numerous industries and have made him one of the most successful international entrepreneurs of all time.

An insight into personal and professional life, sector/size/when started?

Richard Branson is a well-known international entrepreneur and has had a successful personal and professional life. Branson was born on July 18, 1950, in London, England, and grew up in a middle-class family. He struggled in school due to dyslexia but was able to develop his entrepreneurial spirit at a young age.

Branson's first venture was a student magazine called "Student," which he started at the age of 16. In 1970, he founded the mail-order record company, Virgin, which later became Virgin Records. The company grew rapidly, signing well-known artists such as the Sex Pistols and Phil Collins. Over the years, Branson has expanded the Virgin brand into various industries, including travel, telecommunications, and financial services. Some of his most successful ventures include Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile, and Virgin Money. Branson has also had a colourful personal life, often making headlines for his adventurous stunts and philanthropic efforts. For example, he has attempted to fly around the world in a hot air balloon and has set several world records for speedboat racing. Branson is also known for his charitable work, including his efforts to combat climate change and promote education (MasterClass, 2023).

In terms of sector and size, Branson's ventures have been quite diverse. The Virgin Group operates in various industries, from music to travel to finance. The size of his ventures also varies, from the small student magazine he started as a teenager to the multi-billion dollar empire that is the Virgin Group today. Overall, Branson's personal and professional life have been characterized by a willingness to take risks, challenge the status quo, and make a positive impact on the world (ENTIS ,LAURA , 2012).

Drivers and motivation

Opportunity recognition process

Branson's launch of Virgin Records is an example of opportunity-driven entrepreneurship. In the early 1970s, Branson saw an opportunity to create a record company that would cater to the growing market for progressive rock music. He started the company by selling records out of the trunk of his car and eventually grew it into one of the world's largest independent music labels (Goss, 2017).

Branson's launch of Virgin Atlantic Airways is an example of opportunity-created entrepreneurship. At the time, there were no low-cost, high-quality transatlantic airlines. Branson saw an opportunity to create a new market by launching an airline that would offer affordable, high-quality flights across the Atlantic (Champroux, 2014).

In terms of necessity-driven entrepreneurship, Branson's entrepreneurial journey has not been characterized by this approach. Necessity-driven entrepreneurship is when an entrepreneur starts a business out of necessity, such as to generate income or provide for their family. Branson's entrepreneurial ventures have been driven by his passion for innovation and his desire to disrupt established industries (Nickerson, 2018).

Effectuation and the 5 principles

Effectuation is an entrepreneurial approach that focuses on leveraging the resources that an entrepreneur already has, rather than trying to predict and control the future. Effectuation is based on five principles:

  • Bird-in-Hand Principle
  • Affordable Loss Principle
  • Crazy Quilt Principle
  • Lemonade Principle
  • Pilot-in-the-Plane Principle (Matalamäki, 2017)

Richard Branson's entrepreneurial journey embodies several of these principles. For example, the Bird-in-Hand principle can be seen in Branson's approach to launching Virgin Records. Rather than starting with a grand plan or strategy, Branson started with the resources he had available to him, which included a small record store in London. He used this resource to launch a mail-order record company, which eventually became Virgin Records.

The Affordable Loss principle can also be seen in Branson's approach to investing. He has always been cautious about taking on too much debt or risking everything on a single venture. Instead, he has been willing to take calculated risks, investing what he can afford to lose and using those investments to create new opportunities.

Entrepreneurial traits

Richard Branson possesses several entrepreneurial traits that have contributed to his success as an international entrepreneur. Some of these traits include:

  • Creativity: Branson is known for his creative approach to problem-solving and his willingness to take risks. He has a knack for identifying new opportunities and creating innovative solutions to meet customer needs.
  • Resilience: Branson has faced many setbacks and failures throughout his entrepreneurial journey, but he has always bounced back stronger than ever. He has the ability to stay optimistic and persevere through difficult times.
  • Passion: Branson is passionate about his work and the industries he operates in. He is driven by a desire to innovate and disrupt established industries.
  • Adaptability: Branson has shown an ability to adapt to changing market conditions and consumer preferences. He is not afraid to pivot his businesses when necessary to stay competitive.
  • Risk-taking: Branson is known for his willingness to take risks, both personally and professionally. He has taken big risks throughout his career, from launching Virgin Records to starting Virgin Galactic.
  • Leadership: Branson is a charismatic leader who is able to inspire and motivate his team. He has built a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at Virgin, which has helped the company to thrive (Shavinina, 2006).

Motivation to start

Richard Branson's motivation to start his entrepreneurial journey can be attributed to a combination of personal background, push and pull factors, and a lack of resources.

  • Personal Background: Branson's upbringing in a family of entrepreneurs may have played a role in his motivation to become an entrepreneur himself. His parents were both entrepreneurs who encouraged him to take risks and pursue his passions. Branson also struggled with dyslexia as a child, which made him feel like an outsider in traditional academic settings. This may have instilled in him a desire to forge his own path and create something unique.
  • Push Factors: Branson's entrepreneurial journey was also motivated by push factors, such as his dissatisfaction with the status quo and his desire to disrupt established industries. For example, when he launched Virgin Records, he was frustrated with the quality of music available at the time and saw an opportunity to create a better product. Similarly, when he launched Virgin Atlantic, he was frustrated with the lack of competition and innovation in the airline industry.
  • Pull Factors: Branson was also motivated by pull factors, such as the allure of new opportunities and the potential rewards of entrepreneurship. He was attracted to industries and ventures that had the potential to make a significant impact and generate high returns. For example, he saw an opportunity to create a new type of airline that would cater to business travellers and offer a more luxurious experience.
  • Lack of Resources: Finally, Branson's lack of resources may have motivated him to become an entrepreneur. He started his first ventures with limited funds and had to be creative in order to make them successful. For example, when he launched Virgin Records, he used a mail-order system to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Similarly, when he launched Virgin Atlantic, he leased a single plane rather than buying one outright (Goss, 2017).


Barriers and enablers for Richard Branson's international entrepreneurial ventures can be identified as follows:


  1. Lack of Knowledge: One of the barriers that Richard Branson faced in his entrepreneurial journey was a lack of knowledge about the industries he was entering. For example, he had no prior experience in the airline industry when he launched Virgin Atlantic.
  2. Funding: Another barrier that Branson faced was funding. Starting a new venture requires capital, and Branson did not always have access to the funds he needed. For example, he had to sell Virgin Records in order to finance the launch of Virgin Atlantic.
  3. Trade Barriers: Branson's ventures also faced trade barriers in the form of protectionist policies and regulations. For example, when he tried to expand Virgin Atlantic into the US market, he faced opposition from established airlines that lobbied the US government to deny Virgin Atlantic landing rights.
  4. Legislation: Branson's ventures also faced regulatory barriers, such as restrictions on foreign ownership of airlines. For example, he had to structure Virgin Atlantic in a way that complied with US regulations regarding foreign ownership (Ideström, 2017).


  1. Networks: One of the enablers of Branson's entrepreneurial ventures was his network of contacts and relationships. He was able to leverage his personal connections to gain access to funding, resources, and expertise.
  2. Creativity: Branson's creativity was also an enabler of his entrepreneurial ventures. He was able to come up with innovative solutions to problems and challenges, such as using a mail-order system to distribute records or leasing a single plane to launch Virgin Atlantic.
  3. Branding: Branson's ability to build a strong brand was also an enabler of his ventures. His companies were known for their distinctive branding and marketing strategies, which helped them to stand out in crowded markets.
  4. Strategic Partnerships: Branson was able to form strategic partnerships with other companies and organizations, which helped him to expand his ventures and access new markets. For example, he formed a partnership with Singapore Airlines to expand Virgin Atlantic's reach in Asia.

How did they overcome problems

Richard Branson overcame the problems he faced in his entrepreneurial ventures through a combination of creativity, perseverance, and leveraging his networks and strategic partnerships. For example, when faced with a lack of funding, he sold Virgin Records to finance the launch of Virgin Atlantic. He also formed strategic partnerships with other airlines to gain access to landing rights and expand his reach. As Branson gained more experience and knowledge, he was better equipped to navigate the challenges of subsequent ventures. For example, he was able to apply the lessons he learned from launching Virgin Atlantic to the launch of other airlines, such as Virgin Australia and Virgin America.

The presence of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UK, where Branson is from, may have also played a role in his success. The Isenberg model suggests that a supportive ecosystem with access to resources such as funding, talent, and mentorship can enable entrepreneurship. The UK has a relatively strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, with access to funding and support programs for startups and entrepreneurs (Champroux, 2014).

Type of internationalization

Identify the theories used for internationalization

Richard Branson's internationalization strategy does not fit neatly into any one of the three main internationalization theories, as he has utilized a combination of approaches throughout his career.

However, his approach seems to align most closely with the Born Global approach. This approach suggests that some firms are able to internationalize rapidly from inception, rather than gradually as suggested by the Stages or Uppsala Model. Branson's first venture, Virgin Records, was an example of this as he quickly expanded the label's reach beyond the UK to include the US and other international markets.

Moreover, Branson's network and ability to form strategic partnerships has also played a significant role in his internationalization strategy, aligning with the Network approach. He has formed partnerships with a variety of companies in diverse industries, such as music, transportation, and telecommunications, to expand his reach and enter new markets (MasterClass, 2023).

How and why did they choose this route

Richard Branson's route to internationalization was largely driven by the opportunities presented to him and his willingness to take risks and expand into new markets. He initially entered the music industry with Virgin Records, which quickly expanded beyond the UK to include the US and other international markets. This early success in international markets likely influenced Branson's decision to pursue other ventures with a global focus. As Branson entered new industries, such as transportation with Virgin Atlantic and telecommunications with Virgin Mobile, he continued to expand his international presence by entering new markets and forming strategic partnerships with companies in those markets. In many cases, Branson's ability to leverage his networks and form partnerships played a key role in his internationalization strategy.

Overall, Branson's internationalization strategy has been highly successful, with the Virgin Group now operating in a wide range of industries and international markets. While each subsequent venture may have had slightly different routes to internationalization depending on the industry and specific circumstances, the common thread throughout Branson's career has been his willingness to take risks and pursue opportunities in new and diverse markets (ENTIS ,LAURA , 2012).


In conclusion, Richard Branson and the Virgin Group continue to pursue new opportunities and expand their reach globally. Branson remains an influential figure in the world of entrepreneurship and continues to advocate for innovative thinking and taking risks. One key lesson that can be derived from Branson's journey is the importance of adaptability and being willing to pivot in response to changing circumstances. Throughout his career, Branson has demonstrated a willingness to enter new industries and form strategic partnerships to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in the marketplace. Another lesson that can be derived from the Virgin Group's journey is the importance of building a strong brand and leveraging that brand to expand into new markets. The Virgin brand is now synonymous with innovation, quality, and a willingness to challenge the status quo, and this has helped the company to successfully enter new industries and markets over the years.

Overall, Richard Branson and the Virgin Group provide a powerful example of the potential for international entrepreneurship to drive innovation and create value in diverse industries and markets. As Branson and his team continue to pursue new ventures and opportunities, their success serves as an inspiration and a testament to the power of entrepreneurial thinking and action.


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