2022 marks the 10th year of The Great British Entrepreneur Awards, and all of the talent and success we’ve seen over the last decade is definitely something worth celebrating. Last year alone we received 4800 entries, filled with amazing entrepreneurs, and we’re expecting that this year will be even bigger.
To celebrate the 10 year anniversary we take a look back at some of our highly successful winners from over the years and shine a spotlight on what winning The Great British Entrepreneur Awards means to them and how it could help skyrocket the entrepreneurs of 2022.
Hey Girls founder, previous National Winner of The Great British Entrepreneur 2019, and now one of our judges, Celia Hodson is a multi-award winning entrepreneur with a stand-out brand and work ethic.
As a previous business executive with extensive experience in leading social change in the UK, Australia, India, and Brazil, Celia retired early to set up a Buy One Give One Period Products Social Enterprise 2018 – which became Hey Girls. Since starting Hey Girls, the brand has skyrocketed, and the plastic-free, organic period product is now being stocked in Asda, Waitrose and The Co-op supermarkets nationwide and even popping up in the bathrooms s of corporate companies who have signed up to the Hey Girls Period Dignity campaign. Their popularity and rate of trade have enabled Hey Girls to donate over 7 million period products to UK girls and women in need via a network of 200 donation partners – and what an amazing cause it is.
We caught up with Celia to discuss the upcoming 10 year anniversary and how winning the award has had an impact on her business. She gives us some advice for new entrepreneurs and lets us know what to expect next for Hey Girls.
What does being a Great British Entrepreneur Awards winner mean to you, and how has winning this award helped your business?
Being announced as the National Great British Entrepreneur was simply unbelievable at the time, and I was both overwhelmed and humbled by the experience. I’ve enjoyed the accolade and found that it opened many new doors and heaps of business opportunities as our company profile received a huge visibility boost which resulted in additional sales.
‘It’s quite some title to flaunt, and knowing that the judges are all fellow entrepreneurs made the award even more powerful and meaningful to me personally.’
You’re now a judge on the panel, so how does it feel to be giving back to the next generation of entrepreneurs, and what advice would you give?
Being a judge is a joy, but it’s also tricky to select just one winner. The category applications are lovely to read and it’s evident that applicants spend quite some time setting out their stories and success. I learn a lot from reading their journeys. It spurs me on to achieve more for Hey Girls, to remember that other CEOs and Founders are working through their growing pains, too and that it’s totally fine to reach out for assistance when you need to leap forward. It’s cool being part of a community all striving for success. If you need it, ask for help from someone who has walked in your shoes!
We’ve loved being a part of your business’s journey and are always excited to hear about your success. What can we expect from Hey Girls next?
It’s always busy at Hey Girls, and we seldom have time to take a breath, but we planned new some initiatives through lockdown, which are now going live. We launched Hey Girls Australia online, which was a very steep learning curve but great fun. Hey Girls set up a sister Not For Profit company, ‘My Period’, focusing on open source period education, menstrual myth-busting and launched the PickUpMyPeriod App in Scotland that signposts people to free period products in their community. This tool is a world first with over 800 locations listed. It’s our aim to grow the locations and replicate the model in the rest of the UK over the next couple of years.
Celia’s success and her entrepreneurial skills are great examples of what you can achieve, and the talent we see here at The Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Hey Girls are going to have another amazing year and we cant wait to see their success grow.
To be in with the chance of winning this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards register your interest here.