Our student ambassadors have carefully curated lists of professionals who have made a significant impact on sustainability in their industry.
From Finnish CEOs to entrepreneurs from Sri Lanka, the professionals hand-picked on this list come from a variety of professions and countries.
We continue adding people on the lists that deserve to be noticed for the good they have done for nature.
Please give feedback and suggest more names on the lists. We want more people who are utilizing their business skills for nature!
Top Female Entrepreneurs in the UK
In this list, there are female founders from a wide variety of firms across the United Kingdom who are chosen according to the following criteria:
- Their company’s core values and mission are based on the need for sustainability for the environment.
- They are personally passionate about protecting the environment as well as supporting sustainable development, which led to positive impacts on their industry.
Sophie Lejeune is the founder and managing director of Society Zero CIC, a social enterprise project which aims to make zero waste as accessible as possible in Glasgow.
Lejeune personally holds talks and workshops in the environmental and circular economy field and volunteers with social action groups.
She was also nominated and listed on the 2018 WISE100 female social entrepreneur list.
Kath Austin is the founder and CEO of BeeBee Wraps, a venture that produces reusable, biodegradable beeswax food wraps which provide a sustainable alternative to plastic.
By establishing her business, Austin wants to reduce plastic pollution and food waste by offering a beautiful alternative that not only does the job, but does the job better.
Jenny Costa is the Founder of the Rubies in the Rubble, a business which uses surplus fruit and vegetables to make delicious condiments.
Her mission is to make use of what all of us have and to ensure that nothing is wasted.
She has won several awards in the industry of food, such as the Everline Future Business Award 2016 Real Business Disrupts, the Food Star 2015, the Investec Food and Drink Award Entrepreneur 2014, and the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Business Women Award 2014.
Natalie Fee is an award-winning environmentalist, author, speaker, and founder of City to Sea, a UK-based organisation running campaigns to stop plastic pollution at source.
Her primary campaigns are ‘Refill’, Europe’s leading free tap water initiative, and ‘Switch the Stick’, a successful cotton bud campaign which called on all UK retailers to switch from plastic to paper stem buds.
Tessa Clarke is co-founder and CEO of OLIO, an app where you can share surplus food with others.
She is passionate about sustainability, the circular economy, and zero waste.
Though Clarke and co-founder Saasha Celestial-One started with a near-zero marketing budget, OLIO now has over 950,000 users who have together shared 1.3 million portions of food.
Diane Gilpin is the founder and CEO of Smart Green Shipping, a collaborative initiative focused on developing environmental solutions within the shipping industry.
With a background in Innovation and Systems Design, Gilpin worked on projects such as developing the UK’s mobile phone network and renewable energy generation before founding her green company.
She advocates wind energy in shipping for environmental, economic, and engineering reasons.
Lucy Jack is the co-founder of Offset Earth, an organization that invests your money into projects that aim to reduce greenhouse gases and minimise your carbon footprint.
With a background in design, Jack wanted to make a real difference to the climate problem and turned her efforts to creating Offset Earth.
Since co-founding the company, she has offset over 30 tonnes of CO2e and planted 658 trees to reduce her personal carbon footprint.
Louisa Ziane is co-founder and COO of Toast Ale, a company brewing planer saving beer since it started in 2015.
“As Chief Operating Officer, I manage our commitment to people, planet and profit and ensure our brand is true to our purpose: to end food waste over a cheeky pint.”
Toast Ale donates all profits to charities and supports them to deliver systemic change to fix the food system.
Ziane is passionate about social enterprise and the growing B Corp movement, using business to solve environmental problems.
Vicky Smith is the founder of Earth Changers, a company highlighting the most sustainable tourism around the world.
Smith is a Masters-published academic with high integrity, business instinct, marketing creativity, and a passion for wildlife, wilderness, and adventure.
She strongly believes in the powers of the Internet and tourism for connecting communities worldwide for positive impact and sustainable development.
Valentina Milanova is the founder and CEO of Daye.
Daye is an online marketplace where women can create their personal eco-friendly hygiene products, with a mission to bridge the gender pay gap.
As a solo businesswoman, Milanova overcame opposition to secure investment and launched her CBD-infused tampon design.
This design includes the removal of plastic applicators, replaced with a biodegradable alternative.
Laura Zabo is the founder of LauraZabo. In one of her journeys in Tanzania, she realised that everything can be used and not wasted.
Her love and passion for the environment turn this idea into action.
Her company uses materials such as tires that were destined to be wasted on fashion accessories.
Her company has been awarded as a Vegan brand by Peta.
Guya Merkle inherited her family business, Vieri but she decided to build up a company that will give different values and ethics in the market of jewelry.
In 2015 she founded the VIERI GmbH, which exclusively produces jewellery with recycled gold and she invests in the countries which the resources are coming from.
Also,the Earthbeat Foundation is founded in order to create awareness through the whole jewelry industry as well as the consumer.
Finally, Guya Merkle is a Co-Founder of The Wearness, an online company which provides only sustainable and ethical luxury products.
Victoria Prew is Co-founder of the HURR Collective, the UK’s leading wardrobe rental platform.
Victoria Prew believes that ‘’latest fashion trends shouldn’t cost the planet’’.
HURR allows women to share their wardrobes securely and in seconds.
”We are a trusted community and marketplace for luxury fashion rental” because they use a real-time ID verification, geo-tagging, and AI-powered fashion stylists.
Thus, Victoria has achieved through the HURR Collective to create a new, generated, sustainable approach in the fashion world.
Emily John is the co-founder of The Restory.
The Restory is an on-demand service providing modern after-care for luxury fashion.
Using their technology, the company restores items such as handbags and shoes to like-new conditions.
Emily John, because of her passion for sustainability, believes that the key to the industry of fashion is empowering consumers to invest in lasting products from their favourite brands, instead of spending money on fast-fashion.
Juliet Davenport is the founder and CEO of Good Energy, a company supplying customers with renewably sourced energy.
In 2013, Davenport was awarded an OBE for services to renewables and was appointed to the board of the Natural Environment Research Council in 2013.
Her business, Good Energy, has 40,000 customers, £40m in annual revenue and owns the UK’s first commercial wind farm.
Solveiga Pakštaitė is the founder and Director of Mimica.
Pakštaitė, with her company, has developed a biologically accurate food spoilage indicator that determines food freshness by using temperature.
Mimica was a double winner (in the Product Innovation and Sustainable Development Goals categories) at the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Pakštaitė has also won the James Dyson award for her invention.
Ilana Taub co-founded Snact to reduce food waste in the UK by creating delicious snacks from surplus food.
Taub was also selected to be a London Leader by the London Sustainable Development Commission and the Mayor of London thanks to her sustainable innovation.
Her enterprise doesn’t stop there; she is also the Co-Founder of Bolder, which helps businesses solve environmental issues.
Jessi Baker is the Founder of Provenance, a company using the blockchain to track the origins of food and other goods.
With degrees from Cambridge University, the Royal College of Art, and UCL, Baker is also an associate researcher at the Intel Institute for Sustainable Cities.
Her company, Provenance, works with big names such as Unilever, Greenpeace, and The World Bank and across global supply chains.
Solitaire Townsend co-founded Futerra, a sustainable development communications agency working with global brands, charities, and governments to make sustainable development desirable.
Townsend advises clients including Danone, L’Oréal, Axa, MTR, and the United Nations on how to convey a green message that sells.
Solitaire was named Ethical Entrepreneur of the Year 2008, is Chair of the UK Green Energy Scheme, and is a London Leader for Sustainability.
Carmen Hijosa is the Founder and CEO of Ananas Anam.
Hijosa created Piñatex, a natural and sustainable textile produced from pineapple leaves.
Back in 2014, aged 62, she studied for a PhD in Textiles from the Royal College of Art, where she secured a loan to begin her business.
She says: “The environment is suffering and the people who are making leather are also suffering from the non-sustainable processes they are using.” She is working to solve this problem.
Anna Guyer is the Founder of Greenhouse PR, a communications business focusing on companies and NGOs aiming to contribute to a sustainable economy.
After watching a video by NGO Tearfund on the impact of climate change on families in developing countries, Guyer decided to gear her work towards mitigating the climate crisis. This catalyzed the creation of Greenhouse PR in 2007.
Cyndi Rhoades is the Founder and CEO of Worn Again Technologies, a business that aims to use materials already in circulation to satisfy clothes production needs using its polymer recycling technology.
Rhoades is also a co-founder of the RE:Fashion Awards, the first sustainable fashion awards in London.
She regularly speaks on circularity and innovation and has won several entrepreneurial awards.
Noorin Khamisani is the founder and CEO of Outsider, a new green fashion company which uses sustainable fabrics and provides good working conditions.
Working for several years in the fashion industry for various brand names in the UK and New York, she got a deeper understanding of the industry’s impact on the environment.
Then, in 2009 she founded the Outsider where she achieved to provide to the customers the style and quality with the entire respect to the environment.
Sandra Sassow is the CEO and co-founder of UK-based SEaB Energy, a company which has designed and commercialized products that create clean energy and water from organic waste.
Sandra has launched a number of innovative world-class divisions and companies which have achieved significant global profitable revenue growth.
She believes that we’re problem solvers to the world’s energy and waste issues and science and engineering are our tools to achieve this.
Irene Breen is the CEO and founder of Bella Moon.
Bella Moon provides nursing and feeding products.
The idea from Irene was created when she became a mum, she wanted to give the space, the structure, and the enclosure for the baby to feed and for her to rest.
But her mission also is to protect the environment through sustainability and the ecological models.
All of the lightweight swaddles are made from bamboo and she also uses recycled plastic.
Jo Salter founded award winning ethical brand Where Does It Come From? in 2013 which has established ethical, transparent supply chains in India and Africa. The brand has been featured in major press and magazines including Forbes and their organic cotton face masks were recently listed as one of the top sustainable face masks by Good On You.
Jo has built relationships with producers and social enterprise groups in India and Africa – ensuring that productions do good wherever possible. She regularly features on BBC Radio Suffolk and other stations talking about sustainability and transparency. In 2018 she co-founded the Be The Change awards to provide a platform for new enterprises with a positive impact goal. She also founded Ethical Brands for Fashion Revolution and is a fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs. Jo is passionate about sharing her expertise with others to help them on their social enterprise journey – her vision is that all business will be ethical business!
Sian Conway is the Founder of #EthicalHour, the world’s first and largest online community for Big Why business founders. As a strategic marketer and business coach, she helps ethical and sustainable businesses stand out and compete in mainstream markets, to facilitate a global shift to more responsible consumption and production.
As a bestselling author, Sian writes about sustainability and purpose-led businesses and has featured in the UK and international press. In 2018, Sian was named the UK’s Green and Eco Influencer of the Year. In 2019 the UK government personally invited her to be an ambassador for the DEFRA Year of Green Action, encouraging more sustainable practices in businesses and local communities.
Having previously worked in the healthcare industry in sales, marketing and consultancy, Catherine White was inspired by her socially and environmentally conscious children to co-found a business which has a positive social and environmental impact. As the co-founder and CEO of Fundzzle, White has cultivated an online platform which encourages sustainable gift-giving. The platform facilitates the collection of meaningful gifts, whilst reducing waste from unwanted presents, wrapping and paper invitations. In addition, users can support charities and nominate guest contributions to a good cause of their choice.
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