The founder of ethical underwear brand Who Made Your Pants? has been shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 Award.
Becky John is amongst five finalists who are in with the chance of winning the UK-wide £10,000 Award.
All candidates are about to graduate from the 2013/14 cohort of the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme.
Launched in April 2012, the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme, delivered in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs, provides grants from between £4,000 and £15,000, and learning support to entrepreneurs.
Who Made Your Pants? currently employs eight women from refugee backgrounds in its ethical underwear factory in Northam, Southampton. The enterprise teaches the women all of the skills required to make quality products, which retail predominantly through the business’ website.
The business has also provided employability training to a further 65 women and has a waiting list of a further 75 women wanting to find work.
Commenting on the nomination, John said: "Being part of the School for Social Entrepreneurs ‘Scale Up’ programme has helped me focus on developing Who Made Your Pants?. I feel fortunate to have learned from the fantastic team at SSE and working with other social entrepreneurs and my Lloyds Bank mentor has been both rewarding and inspiring. The witness sessions gave me an insight into how successful my enterprise could become with the right leadership and guidance and Who Made Your Pants? would most certainly not have come so far without being part of ‘Scale Up’ this last year.
"Winning the award would be a fantastic achievement for us and would allow us to increase the employment hours of our part-time Office Manager and Production Supervisor enabling us to increase production, sales and employment.”
Voting opens today and closes on 31 October. The winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2014 will be announced on the evening November 5 at a ceremony in London.