Boosting business

Boosting business

Create the opportunities for 100,000 small businesses to grow through digital.

Why this is important to us

We know that harnessing the power of digital technology can help unlock growth and generate wealth. Small businesses already contribute over half of all private sector turnover in the UK [1]. With the right support, small businesses can continue to create jobs, contribute to local communities and help drive digital competitive advantage for the UK.

We have been enabling small businesses to unleash their digital potential and drive business growth through inspiration, education and peer-to-peer support.

How we’re making it happen

VOOM is our way of boosting the UK and Irish economies by creating opportunities for 100,000 small businesses to grow through digital.

Since 2010, VOOM has grown to become a unique and powerful community of entrepreneurs and small business owners who come together with Virgin Media to make connections, share their expertise, find peer-to-peer support and compete for their chance to ‘pitch to Rich’. The community is packed with great advice from successful startups, business leaders and leading brand partners like Virgin StartUp, Crowdfunder.co.uk, Paypal and LinkedIn.

Virgin Media Business has driven this initiative forward and Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business is the executive sponsor for this goal.

The three areas we focus on:

Boosting the speed of business: In 2017, Virgin Media Business launched VOOM Fibre, to become the only provider in the market to offer its top speed of 350Mbps as standard.

After learning that the average employee loses 15 minutes a day to slow internet speeds [1], we went a step further introducing a new speed of up to 500Mpbs, the fastest widely available speed in the market [2]

Building connections that really matter:
The VOOM Pioneers digital platform provided a place for small business owners to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and potential business partners

Getting ahead: From humble beginnings in 2011, VOOM Pitch has grown to become the UK and Ireland’s biggest pitching competition giving entrepreneurs the chance to pitch to Sir Richard Branson and giving away over £3.5 million worth of prizes to more than 52 businesses

In 2018 we…

  • Supported 35,616 small businesses, reaching 112, 947 in total since 2015, meaning we've hit our target a year early
  • Provided a place for small business owners to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and potential business partners on the VOOM Pioneers digital platform. Since 2010, 15,162 members have used the VOOM Pioneers platform to start conversations, ask to start conversations, ask questions, offer advice and meet at face-to-face events that we hosted
  • Hit the road in a big red bus to complete the VOOM Tour which took in 15 cities across the UK, offered over, offered over 1,400 one-to-one consultancy sessions and gave away £50,000 in prize money
  • Held another great VOOM Pitch competition with more than 3,500 businesses battling it out for their chance to pitch to Sir Richard Branson and share in the £1 million prize fund

These are our performance highlights for 2018, the fourth year of our 2020 Boosting business goal. If you are looking for information on what we’re focusing on for the remaining two years of the goal, take a look at our Goals roadmap.

By 2020, we’ll have

  • Continued to develop VOOM as a business acceleration initiative, providing more opportunities to boost business potential
  • Delivered social and economic impact through the opportunities we have created for businesses

[1] Combined annual turnover of SMEs was £2 trillion. Business population estimate for the UK and regions: 2018 statistical report, Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBIS)  

[2] A small business with eight employees used for illustrative purposes only. Eight people losing 15 minutes for five days equals 600 minutes, or ten hours of time, lost. According to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, businesses with 0-9 employees account for 96% of all UK businesses. Virgin Media Business Digital Opportunities report, 2016

[3] Speed claim: The UK’s fastest major business broadband provider based on VOOM Fibre 350Mbps vs major UK B2B ISPs max: 314Mbps BT; 80Mbps O2; 76Mbps Plusnet; 76Mbps TalkTalk; and 76Mbps Vodafone. Virgin Fibre areas only