Social enterprise boss steps down after a decade

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Karen Lynch will leave Belu Water next spring, having turned around the organisation's prospects

25th September 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The chief executive of one of the UK’s most successful social enterprises is stepping down after a decade.

Karen Lynch has announced she will leave Belu Water, which aims to boost access to clean water across the globe.

Lynch took over the position in 2011 and turned the then failing social enterprise with debts of £1.9 million, to a company turning over a significant profit - £1 million in 2018. 

Belu gives all its profits to charity WaterAid, a partnership which Lynch pioneered. To date, they’ve given more than £4 million, transforming over 270,000 lives worldwide through access to clean water.

The former marketing manager has led Belu through many milestone achievements during her tenure including the first company to use at least 50% recycled plastic in their bottles in 2012, and the first and only water brand to be certified as carbon neutral by the British Standard Institute’s standard – PAS 2060.

Along the way Lynch has won multiple awards, most notably two Queen’s Awards, in sustainable development for championing the environmental benchmark in the sector, and for enterprise in innovation for the Belu Filter Initiative.

She will officially step down in March 2020 where she plans to take a break from full-time work to focus on family commitments and continue her role on the board of Social Enterprise UK as vice chair, leading on brand, membership and marketing.

Lynch said: “This has been the craziest and the best job I could ever have hoped to accidentally find myself in. It has been an incredible decade, and I can’t thank our partners and customers enough for their belief and ongoing support throughout that time.

“My focus now is to work with the board and our search partner to find my successor to lead Belu in this next phase of growth and continue the strength of our partnership with WaterAid.”

The social enterprise has already begun the process of recruiting a replacement.