Last updated: 05/05/2016

We, Virgin Start Up Limited, registered in England and Wales with company number 03390330, whose registered office is at The Battleship Building, 179 Harrow Road, London, W2 6NB (“Virgin Start Up”, “we” or “us”), would ask that you take the time to read this privacy policy carefully. By using www.virginstartup.org (the “site”) you’ll be confirming that you agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions, including this privacy policy.

This policy explains how we collect, use and store the personal information you provide to us. 'Personal information' is information which identifies you or another person, or is capable of doing so.

This policy may change from time to time and, if it does, the up-to-date version will always be available on the site. Please note that by continuing to use the site you are agreeing to any updated versions.

Our philosophy

Here at Virgin Start Up, we take your privacy seriously. We’re committed to protecting the privacy of any personal information you give us. We will comply with the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 and related UK legislation. We are registered on the public register of data controllers maintained by the Information Commissioner in the UK.

We have a philosophy here about the way we use your consent to be contacted (if you give us that consent). If you hear from us, we will always aim to be respectful, relevant and appropriate. If at any time you don’t feel we’ve lived up to our philosophy, please let us know straight away by getting in touch with us.

This statement explains our privacy and data protection practices. When you register, some information is automatically retrieved by your browser if you choose to accept cookies. This is not used to identify any individual user or passed on to any third party. Similarly, if you provide us with your contact details, they will not be made available elsewhere. Please note, however, that if you purchase a course that is hosted by Virgin Start Up on behalf of another organisation, your registration details will need to be shared with the organisation to ensure the course is delivered effectively. In these cases, the organisation owning the copyright to the course will be made clear in the course product description and, before purchasing, you will be reminded that your registration details will need to be shared with that organisation.

The services of this website and the information contained therein may not be used for spamming, nor for commercial activities. It may not be used for illegal activities or activities deemed by the owners to be inappropriate.

What information is collected about you and how is it collected?

We may collect data about you (including your name, address, telephone number, email address, age, image/photograph, financial information and ethnicity):

  • From you;
  • From the Start Up Loans Company (SULC);
  • From third parties, including SULC’s finance partners and credit reference agencies. Credit reference agent data may include public, electoral register, shared credit and fraud prevention information. The credit reference agent check will leave a footprint on your file which may be seen by other lenders.

We collect information mainly when you sign up, when you provide us information within our site and when you use products and services made available on the site.

For example, we may receive Personal Information when you:

  • Register for an account;
  • Visit the site (through a cookie);
  • Enter any promotions, competitions or prize draws through one of our services;
  • Update your account or personal information.

Will we use your information for marketing?

We may display offers, promotions, products or services on the site which we think will interest you based upon the information we collect from your cookies. We will keep your contact details for marketing purposes or pass your contact details to third parties (for example, SULC’s corporate partners) for as long as we have your consent to send you marketing information by electronic means, or until you tell us that you do not wish to receive marketing materials by post or by telephone.

How else will we use your information?

We may also use your information for the following purposes:

  • To help provide services to you;
  • To obtain a credit reference;
  • To tailor the content you see in our site.;
  • To carry out surveys occasionally and to analyse our user base — ultimately we want to ensure that virginstartup.org provides everything that you — our audience — is looking for;
  • Respond to your questions and customer service queries;
  • Do research, analysis and write reports to understand our site and how to make it better;
  • To check whether you are eligible for a competition and to contact you if you win;
  • To comply with the law;
  • To comply with SULC’s reporting requirements;
  • As we feel is necessary to prevent illegal activity or to protect our interests.

We will only use information about your ethnicity for the purposes of monitoring and promoting equal opportunities.

We will keep records of any agreements you enter into with us or services or products you receive for up to six years. This is so that we can respond to any complaints or disputes that may arise in that period.

We will keep any other information about you if it is necessary for us to do so to comply with the law or to protect our or another persons interests.

When you apply for a Start Up Loan, Virgin Start Up will check the following records about you and others:

  • Our own;
  • those at credit reference agencies (CRAs). When CRAs receive a search from us they will place a search footprint on your credit file that may be seen by other lenders. They supply to us both public (including the electoral register) and shared credit and fraud prevention information;
  • those at fraud prevention agencies (FPAs).

We will make checks such as; assessing this application for credit and verifying identities to prevent and detect crime and money laundering. We may also make periodic searches at CRAs and FPAs to manage your account with us.

If you are making a joint application or tell us that you have a spouse or financial associate, we will link your records together so you must be sure that you have their agreement to disclose information about them. CRAs also link your records together and these links will remain on your and their files until such time as you or your partner successfully files for a disassociation with the CRAs to break that link.

Information on applications will be sent to CRAs and will be recorded by them. Where you borrow from us, we will give details of your accounts and how you manage it/them to CRAs. If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, CRAs will record the outstanding debt. This information may be supplied to other organisations by CRAs and FPAs to perform similar checks and to trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe. Records remain on file for 6 years after they are closed, whether settled by you or defaulted.

If you give us false or inaccurate information and we suspect or identify fraud we will record this and may also pass this information to FPAs and other organisations involved in crime and fraud prevention.

If you have borrowed from us and do not make payments that you owe us, we will trace your whereabouts and recover debts.

We and other organisations may access and use from other countries the information recorded by fraud prevention agencies.

You can contact the CRAs currently operating in the UK; the information they hold may not be the same so it is worth contacting them all. They will charge you a small statutory fee.

  • CallCredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or call 0870 0601414
  • Equifax PLC, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 3001, Bradford, BD1 5US or call 0870 010 0583 or log on to www.myequifax.co.uk
  • Experian, Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham NG80 7WF or call 0844 4818000 or log on to www.experian.co.uk.

Will we share your information with anyone else?

Only if:

  • You specifically request this;
  • We are required to do so to comply with the law or with the directions of the courts or other authorities;
  • We feel it is reasonably necessary to prevent illegal activity or to protect our interests;
  • We feel other Virgin companies products and services may interest you;
  • It helps our trusted third party service providers to provide and improve our service to you or to carry out surveys and user analysis to understand your needs and preferences. We require these service providers to keep your personal information safe and secure. These trusted third parties would only be permitted to use your personal information for the purposes we specify.

We may share your information with SULC (registered in England with company number 08117656) or Delivery Agencies contracted by Virgin Start Up. Please refer to SULC’s Privacy Policy (available on request) for details of how SULC may process your personal data.

We may share some broader statistics and customer profiling information with third parties and other Virgin companies – but we’ll keep it anonymous, so you won’t be identifiable from that data and we require all such partners to treat your personal information as confidential and to fully comply with all applicable UK or EU Data Protection laws and consumer legislation.

We won’t rent or sell our user’s details to any other organisation or individual.

How will we make sure our site is secure?

We follow strict security procedures as to how your personal information is stored and used, and who sees it, to help stop any unauthorised person getting hold of it. All personal information you register on this site will be located behind a firewall. We take security extremely seriously but as no system is 100% secure, we can’t completely guarantee the protection of your personal information, any more than any other organisation can. So we can’t accept any liability for the loss, theft or misuse of the personal information which you’ve registered on this website if there is a security breach. However, we will take the appropriate measures to respond to and manage any incident, as defined by the UK Data Protection Act. This includes taking measures to contain the incident, to recover the information, assessing the risks and notifying those affected.

What about personal information relating to minors?

Protecting the online privacy of children is especially important. If you are under 18 years old, please do not provide us with your name, contact details or any other information about yourself. To find out more, please read our terms and conditions.

Are you protected by this policy outside virginstartup.org?

Our site contains links to other websites. Obviously, we don’t have any control over them and take no responsibility for any information you give them. Other sites have different privacy and security policies, which we advise you to read.

What is your cookie policy?

Please take care to read our Cookie Policy, which is part of our Privacy Policy. By registering to use or using the site, you'll be confirming that you have read and understood and agree to this Cookie Policy.

How you can access your information

You can request, at any time, access to the personal information we hold about you. You can write to us at the following address, requesting access to your personal information:

The Webmaster
Virgin Start Up Limited
c/o Virgin Management Limited
The Battleship Building
179 Harrow Road
London W2 6NB
UK

You are entitled to be told by us whether we, or someone else on our behalf, is processing your personal information, what personal information we hold, details of the purposes for the processing of your personal information and details of any third party with whom your personal information has been shared (we may charge a small admin fee for providing this information). You can also request that we correct any personal information which we hold about you where it is inaccurate.

Sometimes you may be asked to provide proof of identity before we show you your personal information – that’s so we can prevent unauthorised access.

Talk to us

If you have any queries, comments or complaints regarding this privacy policy, just get in touch.