Karen is an entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in creating and supporting co-operative enterprises.

The founder and managing director at the3rdi magazine, a member owned co-operative since the start of 2011, Karen is also managing director of Maroan Limited, specialising in supporting and promoting ethical business practices through the innovative EthiconomicsTM Enterprise Model.

Karen knows how to bring businesses together to foster collaboration and generate growth and change across both public and private sectors.

Karen is Chair at Glasgow Women's Library, is on the advisory board for Co-operative Development Scotland and is one of the women cited by Co-operative Women's Challenge as being most influential within the co-operative movement.


Experienced entrepreneur with a strong commercial and strategic perspective, excellent interpersonal skills and personal experience of creating and supporting co-operative enterprises.
  • experience in creating/supporting businesses using the co-operative model to foster collaboration
  • experience in creating and growing innovative entrepreneurial businesses
  • experience in working between public and private sectors to generate business growth
  • experience in business planning and development, with specific emphasis on marketing and strategy
  • experience in leading teams through growth and change
  • experienced in creating and growing business and community networks


Co-operative Development Scotland
Advisory Board Member with particular interest in consortia and community co-operatives
Glasgow Women's Library
Chair and Board Member with specific remit of creating champions within and beyond the library to raise the profile of the library and aid fund-raising.
Glasgow Women's Aid
Board Member with special responsibility for liaison between finance and fundraising committees

The 3rdi Magazine
Founding Member
  • started as a private limited company which I converted to a member owned co-operative at the start of 2011 in order that the business structure should reflect the collaborative nature of the project
  • built an active membership which includes men and women from across the UK
  • built a growing number of contributing members/ambassadors who have expertise across all sectors from senior corporate roles to youth enterprise.
  • built an audience currently estimated in excess of 100,000
Maroan Limited
Managing Director
  • the company supports organisations and individuals in planning for sustainable social impact, through workshops, presentations and consultancy
  • Associate member of Co-operative Business Consultants, a group specialising in offering support to co-operative business ventures
Cortex Media Limited
  • the company supports and advises businesses, particularly SME's, on ethical business practices, through workshops, presentations and consultancy.
  • First book published 2011, Ethiconomics.
Scotch Corner
Founder and Managing Director
  • founded the company which was among the first in Scotland to sell on the internet
  • grew the business to be the largest on-line retailer of Scottish goods
  • led the design of a range of in-house software applications in support of business growth and development
  • managed the creation of bespoke platforms for companies such as Tannoy Limited and Edinburgh Bicycle Co-Operative
  • led the creation of the first internet database of Scottish businesses (webscot)
  • advised the Scottish Government on the national e-commerce strategy.
Scottish Biomedical Association
Director General
  • transformed the organisation from one relying on grants from Scottish Enterprise and Regional Development Agencies to a vibrant, member funded trade association
  • played a key role in raising standards of professional training within the biomedical industry in Scotland
  • supported biotechnology start-ups in finding funding and investment
  • advised businesses, Scottish Enterprise regional development agencies and universities on technology transfer opportunities
Unlimited Art
Founder and Managing Director
  • founded a specialist advertising a design agency in Scotland and Manchester handling the design needs of biotechnology and biomedical companies
  • key clients included: PPL Therapeutics, Quality Biotech, Microbiological Associates, Rhone Poulenc
  • supported biotechnology start-ups in finding funding and investment
  • advised small businesses on partnering and growth opportunities
Fresenius Limited
Director of Marketing, UK Renal Division
  • responsibility for the marketing function within the £20m turnover business in the UK
  • liaison with the German head office and subsidiaries across Europe
  • liaison with professional medical bodies and hospital trusts
On leaving university trained within the NHS and qualified as a medical microbiologist before joining Malthus Instruments, first in developing specialist bacterial growth media and later taking key account responsibilities within the sales department. From there joined Thermochem, a specialist water treatment company and was the first woman to work in this male-dominated industry, becoming sales person of the year in each of the years employed.

  • Creator of the WISE-net Women in Social Enterprise Network and Fair Comment peer to peer business support group
  • Recently completed a 400 mile walk around Scotland to raise money for Breakthrough BreastCancer and writing a book about this adventure from the blog recorded while walking.
  • Acknowledged as one of the most influential members of the co-operative movement as part of the women's 20:20 challenge
  • Former communications chair at the Association of Scottish Businesswomen and member of the policy committee.
  • Co-lead at Scottish Changing the Chemistry, an organisation dedicated to increasing diversity at senior levels of Scottish Public and Private sector organisations
  • Appointed by UKFEA in 2011 as one of just 50 women in the UK as an ambassador to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship.
  • Speaker at International Women’s Day and other conferences, and regularly speaks at workshops and events on leadership, women into business and ethical business practices.
  • An accomplished water colour painter, selling artwork since 1978 and since 2006, a commercial artist with sculptures in galleries across Scotland.
  • Qualified teacher of yoga and meditation

University of Sheffield
B.Sc. (Hons) Zoology

University of North Staffordshire