Virgin Money

Start something

Our quest to find an idea that will change the world.

At Virgin Money, our ambition is to make everyone better off. That’s why we want to support businesses and entrepreneurs who believe they can make a positive difference in the world, and why we’ve teamed up with the charity Start to find the best, brightest and boldest sustainable start-up and new product ideas.

We’re looking to unearth that one innovation that will make everyone better off. And to help make it a reality, we’re giving away £10k to get the idea moving.

Entries to the competition are now closed. Make sure you follow us on Twitter to find out the latest news on the shortlist and final winning idea.

Start impressing

Meet the judging panel:

Nick Fox


Nick started his career in 1992 as a financial journalist at the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times. In October 2008 he was appointed head of Financial Communications at the Virgin Group and expanded his role in 2012 to manage the Group's political and public relations. He sits on the board of Virgin Care.

Richard Gillies


Richard joined M&S in 1984 and has been a key member of the Start UK Leadership team since its launch. As director of store design and development Richard was responsible for the £1.5bn development and modernisation programme and for central procurement of goods not for re-sale. Throughout the last few years Richard has played a pivotal role in the development and delivery of the M&S Environmental and Social sustainability plan, 'Plan A’.

Dr Alan Knight


In March 2012 Dr Knight joined BITC as the Marketplace Sustainability Director. He works with businesses to help them understand that economics and environment cannot be separated and that many environmental solutions will accelerate an economic upturn - which in turn helps improve our environment. 

Matthew Sexton


Matt Sexton is B&Q’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, a position he moved into 3 years ago after 15 years spent in the world of retail buying with B&Q and other national retailers. Matt oversees B&Q’s energy saving offer which is being designed to meet demand for installed home energy saving and generating equipment driven by the Government’s green deal, RHI, eco carbon and FIT programmes.

Caroline Taylor


Caroline Taylor is Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Citizenship for IBM UK & Ireland. Based in London, Caroline leads the teams responsible for go to market strategy, development of sales pipeline across IBM’s entire portfolio. Prior to building her career in the technology sector, Caroline spent 8 years working in fine wine retail, including building and running her own mail-order wine business.

Start your business

Unfortunately, there can only be one lucky winner of £10k. But you could still get your business idea off the ground with the help of a Start-Up Loan.

What are Start-Up loans?

Start-Up loans is a Government scheme designed to help young entrepreneurs set up and start their own businesses. You can borrow what you need to get your business of the ground, plus receive expert mentoring and advice on everything from creating a winning business plan to managing your business for years to come. It’s a great way to start your own company and something Virgin Money are proud to support.

Can I apply?

If you’re aged 18 to 30, live in the North East and Cumbria and have a great business idea, then you can apply for a Start-Up loan. You’ll even be able to get help drawing up your business plan if you don’t have one.

To find out more about Start-Up loans or apply, visit

Get your business off to a fantastic start

Find out more about Start-Up Loans

Don’t live in the North East or Cumbria? Don’t worry. You can find out about Start Up loans in your area at

Start partners