Leeds Beckett graduate seeks Branson support
Morgan Dowler graduated in BA (Hons) Business Management in 2013. At the time she was one of three selected students awarded the University’s Vice Chancellor’s Enterprise Scholarship, worth £3,000, to take her lingerie line ‘Love Me and My Secret’ forward.
The 23-year-old has been working hard on the venture ever since and is now seeking votes in a bid to be in the running for Richard Branson’s £1m competition, #VOOM: Pitch to Rich 2015, which aims to help 10 UK start-ups and established businesses to grow and win new customers. Successful applicants will pitch their ideas to Richard Branson, who will judge the winners.
Morgan, who said she was inspired to launch her business after her mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, commented: “Lingerie currently available for breast cancer and post-surgery patients is far from aesthetically-pleasing and I want to create products that women will want to wear and that will make them feel good about themselves.
“My vision is for ‘Love Me and My Secret’ to become the UK number one brand for post-surgery bras. My company is established on the belief that no matter what, people need to look and feel great and our products are for women who have undergone lumpectomies, mastectomies and reconstructive surgery.
“We have collaborated with doctors, surgeons and nurses to produce a line of bras with the patients’ needs at the forefront of the design. These bras are comfortable, yet pretty - that even the most style conscious would want to wear.
“In 2011 14,900 women were diagnosed with breast cancer: the most common type of cancer in the UK, while 1.68 million were diagnosed worldwide. Breast cancer rates have increased by 72% since the mid 1970s. If I was to win, this prize would enable me to provide marketing materials to every breast cancer centre in the UK and deliver my product range directly to the women affected during a traumatic period in their lives.
“I know, first-hand, the disappointment and the deterioration in a woman’s confidence when they see what is available on the UK high street. My aim is to bring breast cancer sufferers a range of bras that will make them feel confident and feminine again, knowing that the lingerie has been thoughtfully developed and designed with their every need in mind. A positive mind and outlook is essential for women in order to recover from this disease, by improving their confidence.”
Morgan's new business logo.
Richard Branson is calling on the entrepreneurs behind businesses large and small to pitch for a mixture of hard cash and marketing support. There is £150,000 in marketing support available for the most exciting start-up, with two runners up receiving support worth £50,000.
“I’d truly appreciate the public’s support in the #VOOM competition,” added Morgan. “I am currently competing by volume of votes to get into the final 50 in the Start-up category. The deadline is Monday 4 May where they suspend voting to interview the top 50 in each category via telephone. If I am successful again the voting reopens at a later date to find the people’s winner!”