Karen Birch

Karen is an entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in creating and supporting enterprise.

Karen is on the Board of Directors of the Glasgow Women's Library.

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 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.

Through her work at, and beyond, the3rdimagazine, Karen is also actively involved in many groups seeking to promote equality and diversity including, but not exclusively:

  • initiatives to get more women into the boardroom of corporations and onto public bodies
  • projects to strengthen women’s voices in and into government
  • programmes to inspire young women and to create positive role models.

She is also involved in community collaborative initiatives such as the An Tearman Foundation and Reforesting Scotland.

Her business career has spanned a multitude of high level positions, including:

  • Director General of the Scottish Biomedical Association
  • Consultant to Scottish Enterprise local agencies, advising on technology transfer opportunities and advisor to Scottish Parliament on strategic e-commerce
  • Various senior positions and entrepreneurial business start-ups, including an e-commerce business, which became Scotland’s largest internet retailer.

Karen is a regular speaker at conferences, business schools, workshops, and events on co-operative and community enterprise, leadership, women into business and ethical business practices. As well as her current role at the3rdi Magazine, Karen is a gallery artist, a teacher of yoga and meditation, and a volunteer befriender at a community for adults with learning difficulties. Karen recently completed a 400 mile walk around Scotland to raise money for Breakthrough BreastCancer. Karen is writing a book about this adventure from the blog recorded while walking.

Karen has a degree in Zoology from Sheffield University and MBA from North Staffordshire University.


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