Karen Lynch is an experienced business leader, entrepreneur, and mentor. A champion of profit with purpose, the circular economy and of collaboration for positive progress.
Following a corporate career in media, automotive and finance, Karen transitioned to the world of Social Enterprise in 2010. Karen was the CEO of Belu Water from then until March 2020, launching a brand that has become one of the UK’s Best-known and most awarded Social Enterprises.
Karen is currently Vice Chair of Social Enterprise UK, Non- Executive Director for Homes for Good Glasgow, Non- Executive Director at The Peach Foundation and is an active mentor to entrepreneurs through Expert Impact.
Karen’s personal mission is to inspire others that there is ‘a better and kinder way to do business’, ‘that through business we can solve some of the world’s problems at the same time’.
Under Karen’s leadership Belu demonstrated you can put the environment first and be highly profitable and impactful. Belu delivered £1m net profits in 2018, and since 2011 has transformed the lives of over 270,000 people through access to clean water and decent toilets through the company’s partnership with WaterAid. Belu received two Queens Awards for Enterprise, sustainable development in 2017 and Innovation in 2019. Belu was the first (and remains the only) UK drinks business to achieve the independent British Standard Institute’s carbon neutrality standard, PAS 2060.
Since stepping down from Belu in April, and with her original gape year travel plans cancelled, Karen has spent most of the Covid 19 period volunteering. Continuing her mentoring whilst stepping up her board role responsibilities to include crisis coaching and mentoring of dozens of social enterprises to support them through these challenging times.
Karen’s current big project is launching Social Enterprise Futures 2020. A virtual conference for 800 delegates taking place in November. The event will celebrate all that has been achieved this year despite the most challenging of times and convenes the sector to address the role of Social Enterprise in the immediate and longer-term future as the UK recovers.
Karen lives in the small Warwickshire village of Flecknoe with her husband Scott and two Border Terriers. Her grown up daughters are have both flown the nest leaving Karen a little time to organise the Flecknoe Yoga Co-op, to enjoy getting involved in local community activities, and to indulge in her passion for growing vegetables on her allotment.