Surprise Guest Speaker Attends Virgin Voyages’ Bimini Bootcamp

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This week, Virgin Voyages hosted a three-day Small Business Bootcamp in the Bahamas empowering local business owners and entrepreneurs.

The hands-on training had an honorary surprise guest on July 21 while the Scarlet Lady cruise ship was docked in Bimini, Bahamas. Sir Richard Branson spoke publicly about his personal entrepreneurial experience.

Virgin’s Small Business Bootcamp and Surprise Visit

In partnership with the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Virgin Voyages held a Small Business bootcamp at the cruise destination between July 17-22, 2022.

Resorts World Bimini hosted the 30 entrepreneurs as they received training on business modeling and one-on-one consultation with experts from the Branson Centre on how to overcome business challenges.

The British billionaire, entrepreneur, and business magnate, Sir Richard Branson made an unexpected appearance at the BootCamp on July 21 while the ship was docked there during his Birthday cruise.

Sir Richard Branson
Photo Courtesy: Virgin Voyages

Branson shared his own entrepreneurial tips, collected from more than 50 years in business. The highlighted guest founded the Virgin Group in 1970, which today controls more than 400 companies in various fields.

“Don’t be afraid to fail. The key to entrepreneurship is persistence – it’s important to never give up. Lean on the network of people around you – including those beside you in this room today,” stated Sir Richard Branson.

Read Also: IDEAL Things to Do in Bimini, Bahamas

This event was set to honor Sir Richard as his very own birthday voyage, which included a community empowerment activity and support for eco-initiatives through Virgin’s charity organizations, such as Virgin Unite.

Virgin Voyages’ Charitable Collaboration

In collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Resorts World Bimini, the goal of the three-day Small Business Bootcamp was to equip small businesses for growth and success in Bimini.

“This three-day training event is the latest demonstration of our commitment to the incredible island of Bimini. We want to ensure that the local economy benefits from increased tourism to the island and the community gets excited when they see our ships in port,” said Jill Stoneberg, Virgin Voyages’ Senior Director of Sustainability and Social Impact.

Virgin Voyages Cruise Ship Funnel
Photo Via: Virgin Voyages

In support of mangrove conservation efforts, Virgin Voyages also teamed up with Virgin Unite to create a “Sea Change Fund” and increase its sustainability efforts. This fund supports mangrove forest restoration projects in the Caribbean.

Virgin Unite is an independent non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group that strives to unite people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world.

“Working with Virgin Unite, we believe this is a start of an exciting program of work that will create an epic sea change in mangrove conservation across the region and act as a blueprint for other parts of the world,” Jill says.

During the birthday voyage, guests were invited to donate to help support and scale partners working to protect our mangroves and their ecosystems. Mangroves play a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change and support biodiversity by providing habitats for animals such as birds and fish.

Scarlet Lady Cruises

Virgin Voyages’ first ship, Scarlet Lady, was delivered on February 14, 2020, by Italy’s Fincantieri and had its maiden voyage from the Port of Miami on October 6, 2021.

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady
Photo Credit: Eric Gilbert Creative / Shutterstock

Virgin’s flagship, Scarlet Lady began sailing on August 6 from Portsmouth with UK-only itineraries and is currently operating from the Port of Miami since October 2021, sailing the Caribbean with four-to-five-day cruises.

The adult-only ship has a guest capacity of 2,770 passengers and weighs in at 110,000 tons. She boasts of over 20 restaurants onboard and all-inclusive experiences such as group workouts, essential drinks such as sodas and drip coffee, and wifi everywhere onboard.

As of July 27, 2022, Virgin Voyages will be ending its pre-cruise testing requirement for sailings from the United States. It is the first cruise line to discontinue pre-cruise COVID-19 testing from a U.S. homeport.

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