When 29-year-old eco company director Vaitea Cowan received an email during lockdown asking her to “hop on a call” with the Prince of Wales, she found it so hard to believe that she took extra steps to make sure it wasn’t a hoax.
The message from Prince William's team was thankfully very much real, however. Fast forward three years and Vaitea’s life and career have been transformed thanks to Earthshot - Prince William's ambitious 10-year, £50 million project which she is a key part of.
When the initiative launched in 2021, Vaitea's green hydrogen supplier company Enapter won the Fix Our Climate category and was awarded £1 million. And that's not all - thanks to Prince William and the Royal Foundation, she has been mentored by Michael Bloomberg and made invaluable industry connections.
Speaking in this week’s episode of A Right Royal Podcast – How Prince William is Saving the World, in partnership with True Royalty TV, and which you can listen to below, the 29-year-old heaps praise on the father-of-three and his team: “They've really enabled a lot of our growth up until today. They also check in just to check. ‘Okay, where are you at? What are your next milestones? How can we support?’ And there's an incredible access to a network that we've been engaging with.”
LISTEN: What winning Prince William's Earthshot Prize is really like
As for how she received the incredible £1 million prize money, she tells hosts Andrea Caamano, Emmy Griffiths and HELLO!’s Royal Editor Emily Nash: “They take their winners seriously and hold us accountable to certain goals. So, it was over time as we met milestones.”
Prince William's brainchild Earthshot aims to find solutions to some of the Earth's biggest environmental issues. Impressed by all the work that William puts into Earthshot and making the world a better place, Vaitea adds: “What Prince William does, with the whole Earthshot team is to bring visibility, give us access to a network, people and finance - and offers an overall support for us to fulfil our objectives."
She continued: “When I look at the climate crisis, I see a leadership crisis. Too few of our leaders today are taking the responsibility to provide a liveable planet for future generations. But when I look at Prince William, on the other hand, he is a leader that is part of this generational shift towards repairing our planet.”