For Immediate Release

Title: Sir Richard Branson to be honored during Caribbean Week NYC

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Mar. 30, 2012: Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, will be presented with the first Invest Caribbean Now Leadership Award for his services to entrepreneurship in the region on June 6th in New York City.

The presentation will take place during New York’s Caribbean Week at the second Invest Caribbean Now Power Forum at the Marriot Marquis Times Square on June 6th from 7:30 to 10 a.m. It is a partnership between the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the regional tourism arm and digital media company, Hard Beat Communications.

Sir Richard, together with Virgin Unite, his non-profit foundation, and Virgin Holidays launched The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Montego Bay, Jamaica, last September to support the development of small and growing businesses and help with job creation in the Caribbean.

Sir Richard Branson said:It is a great to be honoured in this way. I have had a home on Necker Island in the Caribbean for many years and find the people are highly entrepreneurial. The first year’s intake at the Center has only reinforced my views and it’s great to see the wide variety of businesses we have; everything from cake making to coral reef protection. Our aim is to help create hundreds of jobs across the Caribbean. We’d love to see more corporate partners and supporters get behind the Branson Centre so that we can expand our initiative across Jamaica and other neighbouring islands.”

Invest Caribbean Now convener and CEO of Hard Beat, Felicia Persaud said: “Sir Richard is being honored for his depth of passion, philanthropic leadership and investment in the Caribbean. He can undoubtedly help propel our youth and region forward; he is an inspirational individual who is setting an example for all of us throughout the Caribbean – with initiatives such as the launch of The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean.”

“The award is recognition of the dedication and commitment of one individual and his companies to the Caribbean and it will send a powerful message to other potential investors as well as the Caribbean Diaspora,” she added.

“Sir Richard is a remarkable individual who continues to invest in the Caribbean and tell of its glory.  Through the Branson Center of Entrepreneurship, his legendary generosity  is now making a difference in the lives of budding young entrepreneurs to positively impact the Caribbean tourism industry,” said Sylma Brown Bramble, director of CTO-USA Inc. “This good helps to secure the future of Caribbean tourism and we truly look forward to honouring him.”

Sir Richard’s career as an entrepreneur began in 1966, when he launched the Student magazine at age 15. Over the years he has founded more than 400 companies in 34 countries,  and the Virgin Group has expanded from music and retail into sectors such as leisure, travel, tourism, mobile telecommunication, broadband, TV, radio, music festivals, finance and health. More recently, Virgin is pioneering Space Tourism and through its Virgin Green Fund is investing in renewable energy and resource efficiency.

About Virgin Unite:

Virgin Unite is the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. We unite people to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way. Our aim is to help revolutionize the way businesses, governments and the social sector work together – driving business as a force for good.  This is based on the belief that this is the only way we can tackle the scale and urgency of the challenges facing the world today. Virgin Unite’s overheads are covered by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, meaning that 100% of additional donations received go direct to the frontline where they are needed most.  For more information please visit Follow us on Twitter  Join the movement on Facebook

About Invest Caribbean Now Forum:

The Invest Caribbean Now forum earned rave reviews in its inaugural years in 2011 and secured significant media coverage for its impassioned appeal from Hard Beat CEO, Persaud, and presentations from Wendell Dave Dowrich, Vice President, Goldman Sachs; David Brillembourg, Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Brilla Group and Martin Mohabeer, Managing Director, Spackman Group and CEO of Spackman Capital.
2012 is set to be more exciting as the event will feature private equity investors in the region, telling their “Why Caribbean” story to other investors and attendees. This year’s confirmed speakers are President and co-founder of Solamon Energy Corp, Jay Yeo; and Chairman and Managing Director of Blue Equity, LLC., Jonathan S. Blue and Lisa Lake, head of The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean. 

Partners to date include La Chambre Consulaire Interprofessionnelle de Saint-Martin, (CCISM), One Caribbean Television, the PR Newswire, WSEE TV, CaribPR Wire, News Americas Now, Damoola Inc and The Affiliated Lawyers of the Americas (”ALTA”).

Space is limited. To register log on to

For partnership and special sponsorship/branding opportunities log on to the sponsorship section of or email Joe Bernstein at [email protected]