BLAQUE

In a world geared toward the bottom line, it's also important to use your talents, influence and energy for more altruistic purposes.


Most articles on Ettiene begin with the words, 'Ettiene Pretorius was born with one sole purpose, to influence the world and to share his pasion for business with a burning desire to become on of the world's top entrepreneurs'. Although meeting Sir Richard Branson must be a highlight in any young entrepreneurs life, Ettiene says 'meeting with him wa one thing, but knowing that this individual has changed the dynamics of entrepreneurship across the globe, living with one passion and goal in mind and changing the world, is a feeling of excitement, humbleness and growth.'

Making his first million by the age of 21 is just one of Ettiene's extraordinary accomplishments. He's had numerous awards bestowed upon him for his business achievements. He also lives by the tenet 'what you have at the end of your life will be determined by how much you gave'. This is why, on a sunny day i March last year Ettiene found himself contemplating a 5 kilometre swim to raise funds and awareness for the Faces of Hope charity (which seeks to raise funds for select cancer sufferers to help meet basic financial costs to cover their debilitating oncology treatment.) It was potentially dangerous swimming in the channel between the two islands, as boats occasionally pass through and wouldn't necessarily notice a swimmer free-styling through the surface of the ocean. For Ettiene, however, the 5km swim was exhilarating and rewarding, especially because of the purpose behind the challenge.

He'd been invited to The British Virgin Isles by Sir Richard Branson (who owns both Necker and Moskito Islands) to attend a five-day 'Oxford meets Necker' think tank; comprising top Oxford University professors and 20 influential entrepreneurs from all over the world. The think tank was set up to discuss climate change and how they as individuals could bring about change, setting examples of how to build a greener environment. At the time of the think tank, Ettiene was in training for the South African Ironman 2014 competition, and decided that he would continue this training during his stay. This decision led to an opportunity to do the charity swim.

'I am thrilled to have taken the step forward in doing something for a greater purpose and creating awareness for two causes I am personally passionate about,' says Ettiene.

Necker Island and Moskito Island are both owned by Sir Richard Branson. Moskito Island is being developed into a premier ecotourism resort and Necker Island is going to continue to reduce environmental impact, setting a great example for other island communities worldwide. Of course getting there for the think tank participants was via Virgin Atlantic (plus a short boat ride). Ettiene says that, 'travelling as frequently as I have been the past few years, I realised how important it is to create an experience for your customers. Sir Richard Branson has mastered this in every single way possible, which I experienced whilst flying with Virgin Atlantic. With every bit of attention to detail, I choose them time and again. From Upper class to Economy, there is o difference in service and I always feel at home.'

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