The founder of Hey Girls – an East Lothian-based social enterprise tackling period poverty – has been named Great British Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2019 Royal Bank of Scotland Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
Celia Hodson scooped the prize at the Scottish regional heat in October, but took the UK title at the national final – which coincided with Social Enterprise Day.
She follows in the footsteps of entrepreneurs who have won the title since the awards were launched in 2013, including James Watt of Ellon-based BrewDog, Julie Deane of The Cambridge Satchel Company, and Tangle Teezer’s Shaun Pulfrey.
Based near Musselburgh, Hey Girls sells sustainable sanitary products with the “buy one give one” concept of giving a pack to a girl or woman every time one is bought.
Hodson said the accolade will make a “massive” difference to Hey Girls.
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“The recognition from the regional final made such a difference, so this will just be fabulous for our growth.”
Great British Entrepreneur Awards founder Francesca James said Hodson’s win reflects the growth of businesses with a purpose. “Celia’s journey is incredible powerful and inspirational.
“From going through life as a single parent on benefits, struggling to make ends meet and buy sanitary products, to forging a successful career and applying her knowledge and experience to create and build this fantastic social enterprise encompasses everything it means to be a Great British entrepreneur.”