A BUSINESS set up to tackle to period poverty has received a visit from a VIP.

Representatives from three of Scotland’s leading startup businesses attended their first mentor session following Virgin StartUp’s inaugural search for Scotland’s startup Business of the Year – but it didn’t quite go as planned.

Celia Hodson, from Hey Girls, was left in disbelief when Sir Richard Branson burst through the doors and joined the mentor session, surprising everyone around the table.

Having fought off competition from over 100 entrants earlier this year, Celia, along with Loral and Eishel Quinn, from Sustainability, and Pooja Jain, from CogniHealth, were delighted to be joined by Jackie Waring, the founder and CEO of Investing Women, to gain money can’t buy insights and advice from the leading business owner herself, before also being treated to the unexpected appearance.

Celia, from Stenton, said: “It was a huge surprise.

“We did not really know we were going to meet him, so, that was pretty nice.

“It was really fabulous because he was so genuinely interested in what we were doing at Hey Girls.

“He asked lots of questions about period poverty, how we started, the packaging, Hey Girls – it was really good.”

The session included advice on how to grow your business, make connections across sector, provided three unique businesses insight into different sectors and of course a surprise visit by one of the original Entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson.

Hey Girls, which was the overall winner of the competition in March, is an early stage business tackling period poverty via a 'Buy One Give One' model and was named the winner of Virgin StartUp 10: Scotland’s competition.

CEO and Founder, Celia, is already proving to be an excellent ambassador for Virgin StartUp and she is a great example of someone Changing Business for Good.

The business is continuing to expand, with further products being developed and more councils across the country taking an interest.

Discussions are also ongoing with a major supermarket, which could stock their products in the near future.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder said: “I’m proud of the support we offer entrepreneurs across the Virgin Group.

“The team at Virgin StartUp knows the importance of mentors and have provided thousands of support hours across the country.

“It was brilliant to drop-in and surprise everyone; and a great way to kick off my visit to Edinburgh.”