Virgin StartUps has recognised period poverty social enterprise Hey Girls as an outstanding new business
A social enterprise tackling period poverty has been named Virgin StartUps' Scottish Business of the Year.
Hey Girls, founded by mother Celia Hodson and her daughters Becky and Kate, encourages women to buy one and give one on sanitary products.
Having been a single parent, Celia understands first-hand the financial strain of buying sanitary protection when struggling to survive on benefits and recognises that the situation for women hasn’t changed in twenty years, leaving her with the decision that something had to be done.
Over the past three months, Virgin Startup10: Scotland has been searching for Scotland’s best startup businesses and entrepreneurs, for the chance to win prizes including mentoring and support from a leading Scottish law firm.
Hey Girls will receive mentoring, marketing and PR support from Virgin StartUp as well as the members of the judging panel which include Jackie Waring of Investing Women, Bob Keiller of Scottish Enterprise, Callum Stuart of Mallzee and Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish minister for business innovation and energy.
The social enterprise beat competition from nine other Scottish startups.
Commenting on the achievement, Celia Hodson said: "We’re thrilled to have been crowned Virgin StartUps Scottish Business of the Year 2018.
“It’s crazy to think that we’ve achieved this success having only just launched in January.
“We hope that having access to Virgin StartUp will ultimately have direct benefits in helping the Hey Girls brand expand thanks to the additional mentoring and business advice.”
Andrew Hutchison, head of Srategy Virgin StartUps, said: “Hey Girls really stood out for its passion, it showcased great innovation and was able to demonstrate the positive impact it is already making to a problem that is causing a real issue in the UK.”
Launched in 2012, Virgin StartUp is the not-for-profit arm of the Virgin Group spearheading the Group’s entrepreneurial philosophy. It provides government backed loans between £500 and £25,000 to entrepreneurs who work with the VSU team to build robust business plans. Virgin StartUp launched in Scotland in 2016.