What does your social enterprise do?
MsMissMrs addresses poor self-care and the low self-esteem of women and girls who have suffered as a result of a difficult experience. I was inspired to create simple but resourceful tools for everyday living when I saw the debilitating effects of low self-worth within my community.
By selling Empowerment Pants we sustain our programme. Empowerment Pants are a fun way to get across an important message. I wanted to give the women and girls a memento of their time at the workshop that was not a certificate. Some of the women and girls I have worked with have gone through some really challenging times and I wanted to mark the beginning of their self-empowerment journey with some super heroine undies. It creates a lot of smiles when I tell people what they are.
Why are you passionate about this cause?
Having spent my teen years in children’s homes, I left school at the age of 15 with little education and had my daughter at 16. The difficult experiences I had faced as a young girl had left me at an emotionally, mental and social disadvantage.
How has the School for Social Entrepreneurs supported you?
Once I started MsMissMrs I quickly realised that there was a lot more work than I had first realised and I was responsible for everything on my own until I had a proof of concept. There was little time and money, I lacked skills in business planning, financials and intellectual property. It was very challenging at the beginning but I overcame all of these challenges with support from SSE.
The SSE programme was an incredible experience, I learned business skills and made friends I will have for a lifetime. I arrived at my first interview with a knicker elastic and the front page of the self-care workbook and through the great support of my peers and the business support from SSE Scotland we now have a fully completed self-care workbook and have launched Empowerment Pants.
What are your plans for the future?
I have just had the Empowerment Pants packaging designed and I am looking to pitch to shops. Our care plans are currently working and I plan to train a few young women who have attended our programme to facilitate the workshops to others.
What would your advice be to a budding social entrepreneur?
Ask for help and don’t try to do everything yourself, be honest about what skills you need and find a course that helps. Surround yourself with great support!
If you’ve been inspired by Sylvia’s story take a look at our courses and see how we can help make your idea a reality.