An entrepreneur and self-styled 'bin lady' who launched a nationwide business from her spare bedroom has been named as the 2012 Businesswoman of the Year
8 November 2012, News release from UK Container Maintenance Ltd
Emma Elston, co-founder of UK Container Maintenance, based in Northwich, Cheshire, was chosen from a shortlist of six as the winner of the prestigious Businesswoman of the Year crown
The Manchester-born 36-year-old established the company, which provides waste container refurbishment services, with her husband in 1998. After struggling to secure support from the banks she initially set up in a bedroom at home and took out £15,000 on credit cards to kick-start the firm.
She has since expanded the firm into a national operation, employing over 80 staff with a multi-million pounds turnover and refurbishing around 78,000 waste containers per year.
The announcement was made during the 30th annual Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards at the Birmingham Metropole. The event celebrates personal achievement and success outside of London in the areas of female enterprise and personal achievement.
Five other women were shortlisted for this year's award: Andrea Miles, director of Mirrors for Training, Christine Griffiths, director of Aeolus Power (Wind-Energy), Sarah Cressall, managing director of The Creation Station, Vivienne Hudson-Findlay, managing director of Hotelshop UK, and Sheree Cook, director at Cube Environmental.
Judy Groves, awards chair, said: "Every single candidate for this award was a potential winner and with each one of them ticking so many boxes it really shows the quality of this competition.
"It also underlines just how much of a worthy winner Emma is and how remarkable her achievements are.
"She genuinely had a unique idea, she had spotted something that no one else was doing and ran with it.
"Her business is innovative and she is focussed on generating employment in her region"
"To accomplish what she has done, and to have done it during one of the worst economic climates we have ever experienced, is truly inspirational."
Previous winners include Dragons Dens' Hilary Devey, Karren Brady, one of Sir Alan Sugar's trusted aides on The Apprentice and vice-chairman at West Ham United, Sarah Tremellen, founder and chief executive of Bravissimo, and Perween Warsi, founder of S&A Foods.
This year's event also saw renowned designer and entrepreneur Karen Millen tell the audience of influential women about her campaign to support young cancer victims.
She was joined by 2011 Businesswoman of the Year Julie White, who was on hand to tell the audience about the hectic 12 months that followed her success at last year's event.
Paralympic star and London bombings survivor Martine Wright was also named as the Vitalise Woman of Achievement 2012 during the gala award ceremony.
For further information please email UK Container Maintenance Ltd