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Grantham businesswoman who founded carbon footprint reducing company shortlisted for award

A Grantham businesswoman has been shortlisted for a national entrepreneur award.

Eliana Vanekova, founder of ZeroSmart with partner John Munn, has been named as a finalist for ‘Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

John grew up in Grantham and went to Central School, which later became the Priory Ruskin Academy. He met Eliana while at university in Leeds, and the pair now live together and run ZeroSmart in Bridge End Road, as both business and life partners.

ZeroSmart founders, Eliana Vanekova and John Munn. (48926877)
ZeroSmart founders, Eliana Vanekova and John Munn. (48926877)

ZeroSmart helps clients reduce their carbon footprint to zero by funding scientific climate solutions, such as renewable energy and tree planting, and works with organisations such as the UN, WWF and Eden Reforestation projects to reduce and remove carbon emissions.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards were launched in 2012 to celebrate the very best of British entrepreneurship and talent.

It is endorsed by the UK government and judges include prominent business people such as Hotel Chocolat founder Angus Thirlwell, Dragons Den star James Caan and Cath Kidston MBE.

Eliana Vanekova. (48926884)
Eliana Vanekova. (48926884)

Previous winners include the founders of Grenade, Tangle Teezer, The LAD Bible, Clearscore and The Cambridge Satchel Company.

There were a record 4,800 entries this year so it has never been more competitive.

The regional award winners will be announced in September, with a date yet to be confirmed, depending on Covid-19 restrictions.

Eliana said: “We started the business during the pandemic and have experienced incredible growth in such a short time.

“We are currently on track to remove 250,000 tonnes of CO2 this year, the equivalent of driving from Earth to Mars 18 times!

“It is very rewarding to be able to help people across the UK to have a genuine positive impact on the environment.

“I strongly believe that doing good doesn’t need to be difficult and that saving the planet shouldn’t cost the earth.

“We receive stories from people thanking us for making it easy and affordable for them to help the environment. This award is great recognition for our entire ZeroSmart community.”

Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards Francesca James said: “We have seen some incredible finalists over the years, and this year is no exception. It really is one of the strongest shortlists we’ve ever had, and the fact that so many exceptional people have applied during such a tough year is a testament to the resolve and entrepreneurial talent that exists across the UK.”

Lesley Pashley, chair of the Grantham Business Club, said: “Grantham Business Club is delighted to hear that a local, innovative and socially-minded business like ZeroSmart is being rightly recognised for its success. The Awards champion and celebrate the people behind a business so it’s wonderful to hear that Eliana has reached the finals. We wish her and ZeroSmart every success and look forward to hearing how they get on.”

After speaking with local business clubs, ZeroSmart are about to launch an initiative to help local businesses reach their net zero goals by making their workforce climate friendly.

To find out more, visit: www.zerosmart.co.uk

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