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Emma in line for top award for idea rubbished by the banks
6:30pm Monday 8th October 2012 in News
A MOTHER from Knutsford could be about to follow in the high heels of Dragons’ Den star Hilary Devey.
Emma Elston, co-founder of UK Container Maintenance based in Winnington Avenue, Northwich, has been shortlisted for the Business Woman of the Year award, part of the 30th annual Women of the Year celebrations.
Previous winners include Karren Brady – now known for her role as one of Sir Alan Sugar’s advisors on The Apprentice – and Hilary Devey, who also has a high-profile career as one of the investors on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den.
For Emma, 36, it is an incredible turnaround after her and husband Julian’s idea of refurbishing recycling bins was initially laughed at by banks.
“We operated from our bedroom at first,” she said.
“My husband was out repairing the containers, and I was ringing round refurbishing and waste and recycling companies and local authorities for jobs.
“When we went to the banks with our business plan we were laughed at. No-one had done it before. We spent about £30,000 on our credit cards starting it up.”
UK Container Maintenance is now the biggest container refurbishment company in Britain. It has two offices, one in Cheshire and one in Essex, and fixes 75,000 waste and recycling containers a year for local authorities and waste and recycling firms.
Emma and Julian launched the company 13 years ago and now have a workforce of 80.
She will find out if she has won the award on Friday at the Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.