Meet Our Volunteers: Social Enterprise Traveller, Karen Leigh Anderson

With the Impact48 Weekend well underway in the Attacat office, we’d like to introduce you to some of the wonderful people donating their time and expertise to Edinburgh Cyrenians. Karen Leigh Anderson has spent the past 10 years working with social enterprises in the UK and has an impressive track record of supporting over 200 third sector organisations with investment and business development. This afternoon we caught up with Karen to hear her thoughts on how the weekend is unfolding.

Karen Leigh Anderson

Karen Anderson

How did you hear about the weekend?

Through Impact48 organiser Barry O’Kane. I was at the first weekend too.

What attracted you to Impact48?

I’m interested in new sustainable ideas around third sector organisations and seeing how you can apply this to more than just coding and design.

Describe yourself in three words.

Disruptive. Focused. Loyal.

Aside from Impact48, describe your work in a nutshell.

Developing new social enterprises and growing social enterprises through all sorts of business models and finding social investment for them.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I have an Etsy shop called MakerDifference. My friend and I both make jewellery. She has been teaching women – specifically widows and orphans – to make jewellery in Uganda and South Africa and we now sell it online.

What are you working on today and what are you hoping to bring to the challenge?

I’m good at finding tools and resources out there that can be used. I started work on the online financing report project today. We’ve identified free infographic tools to better communicate Edinburgh Cyrenians’ accounts. Not everybody wants to download a heavy PDF of figures, but the information itself is really interesting.

What do you hope to gain from the weekend?

To learn about a new idea and gain insight into how Impact48 could be rolled out to more people. I’m always interested in how things work.

What have you enjoyed most so far?

The variety and different types of people here.

Lastly and most importantly – What is your favourite home baked treat?

My favourite has to be tipsy tart – it’s full of rum (and dates.)

Delighted to have you back for the second Impact48 Weekend Karen! We’re excited to see the progress everyone has made by the end of day one.

Keen to get involved in Impact48?

We look for all sorts of volunteers with all sorts of skill sets, so if you would like to find out more or volunteer for our next weekend please get in touch with us! Email at

We are also looking for other kinds of assistance. The amazing people at Innis & Gunn have again donated some delicious beers for our hard working volunteers over this Impact48 weekend. Could you or your business help? Find out more about sponsoring or get in touch with us at

You can also sign up to our newsletter, like our Impact48 page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @RealImpact48, use the Twitter hashtag #impact48.