Great British Entrepreneur Awards – why we’re taking part

7 Jul 2021

Funding Options is excited to be sponsoring the Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year category at this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA). Our CEO, Simon Cureton, is on the judging panel, and the finalists have just been announced!

wind farm

Every year, the GBEA celebrates the stories and successes of the UK’s entrepreneurial community. 

What makes the GBEA so special is that it's so much more than an awards ceremony – it’s an evolving ecosystem of 50,000 entrepreneurs and their supporters, providing year-round support and opportunities for both winners and finalists. 

The GBEA received a record-breaking 5,000 applications in 2021, which we think is testament to the strength and perseverance of the UK business community. 

A grand total of 900 entrepreneurs from over 650 businesses –spanning eight regions – have made the shortlist.

"What marks these awards out is the way they've fostered such an impressive, supportive community of people. And that's never been more important than right now." - Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer


The founder of one of these shortlisted companies will win the title of Great British Entrepreneur of the Year in the National Final this November. The Regional Finals are set to take place in September. 

The GBEA launched in 2012 and received a record 5,000 entries this year.

The GBEA launched in 2012 and received a record 5,000 entries this year.

We’re sponsoring ‘Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year’

Funding Options is sponsoring the Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year category of the GBEA. Our CEO, Simon Cureton, is on the judging panel.

The GBEA champions a wide variety of categories, from Disruptor Entrepreneur of the Year to Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year. You can view the full list of categories and finalists here

So, why did we choose to sponsor sustainability this year?

Because sustainability is a subject that’s close to our heart. 

Representing 99 per cent of all UK businesses, SMEs will play a critical role in meeting the country’s climate goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Over the last 12 months we’ve been working hard to create the UK’s first Green Finance marketplace, which launched this month. 

This year’s inspiring finalists are pioneering sustainable practices in a number of ways, from growing seaweed to create carbon negative products and services to planting a tree for each product sold – and much more in between.

The Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year finalists are:

South West

Howard Gunstock & Dave Walker-Nix | Carbon Kapture

Luke Declan McFadden | CGS Contractors and Celtic Turf

Emma Askew | Earth Minutes

Dan Yates & Mehrnaz Tajmir | Greener

Charlie Guy | LettUs Grow

Tom Carr & Richard Pearce | Verto Homes


David Hanney & Nick Smith | Alpkit

Dawn Foxall | Foxology

Madeleine Willis | GoodToBee

Mike Beck | TUS Ltd

Matthew Porter | VASO

Eliana Vanekova | ZeroSmart

South East

Eliott Flack & Max Newman | EKO Mattress

Alessandro Rocchi | Georganics

Victoria Wood | Greener Beauty

David Macdonald | The Path

Josh Brodie Bland & Cacey Margaret Barks | Tweedy Clothing

Kathryn Jonas | Wild + Stone


Gerwyn Holmes | Ecoslurps

Jane Fellner | Loopster

Gabriella Diana | Onesta

Geryn Evans | Project Blu

Kerry Mackay | ScrubbiesUK

Meghan Gane | SEY Cosmetics

Scotland & Northern Ireland

Elizaveta & Andrew Bennett | Arkdefo

Rosemary Eribé | ERIBE Knitwear

Evan Gwynne Davies, Daniel Marek & Michael Pascuito | Scrapp

Emma & Fergus Macdonald | The Tartan Blanket Co

London & East of England

Ashleigh Bishop | Bagboard

Eve Kekeh | Bundlee

Jyotirmoy & Somali Roy | GreenEnco

Geoff van Sonsbeeck | House of Baukjen

Ali Clabburn | Liftshare Group

Ella Shone | TOPUP TRUCK

Ellenor McIntosh & Alborz Bozorgi | Twipes

Grace Beverley | WE ARE TALA

North West, Yorkshire & the Humber

Rob Nicoll & Rowan Minkley | Chip[s] Board

Morten Toft Bech | Meatless Farm

Robert Hughes | Pivotal Products

Simon Payne | Sole Responsibility

Joe Darwen | Veo.

North East

Ruth & Mark Oldfield | Coffee & Kin

Kassi Emadi | nuddy

Cecily Handerson & Katherine Rhodes | PomPom Climbing Triangles

Louisa Rogers | Studio Courtenay

Paula Jardine | The Eco Dog Design Company

“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.” - Francesca James, GBEA founder

Supporting sustainable businesses through finance 

We’re looking forward to supporting the shortlisted candidates through to the regional finals and beyond as they continue to succeed and grow. 

If, like the shortlisted entrepreneurs above, you’re a sustainability-conscious business owner, you can apply for finance through Funding Options’ Green Finance marketplace

You can use our platform to find funding for the purchase of ‘green assets’ such as solar panels or electric vehicles. If you’re committed to participating in renewable, low or zero carbon activities, we can match you with our panel of green lenders that align with your goals.

Whether sustainability is an intrinsic part of your business’ DNA, or if you’re looking to finance your first ever ‘green’ project, we’re here to help. 

Get green finance

Stuart Lawson

Chief Commercial Officer

Stuart is Chief Commercial Officer at Funding Options where he plays a key role in driving the growth of the business and its relationships with more than 120 partners. A finance industry veteran, he has a strong background in alternative finance, corporate and commercial banking, as well as global transaction banking.

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