Pioneers Post

Suspended Lynn resigns to set up UK-wide recycling giant

25 March 2010
Trevor Lynn

Trevor Lynn of Mow & Grow and the Grow Organisation has announced his resignation from the companies and has moved on to a recycling consortium called Think 3E

'I’ve given four years of my life building Grow up and have left it with contracts lasting five years. I want to protect the brand as best I can'


Trevor Lynn, who has announced his resignation from Mow & Grow and the Grow Organisation

The boss of Mow & Grow has announced his resignation from the company following his suspension.

Trevor Lynn, also joint CEO of a collection of social enterprises offering support, training and community services called the Grow Organisation UK Ltd, has now joined a new company, Think 3E, as its strategic manager. Think 3E was registered as a private company limited by shares in December and aims to establish a UK-wide consortium of specialists in the environmental, education and employment sectors, mainly working in plastic recycling.

One of its directors is listed on Companies House as being Marcus Baldry, the same name as a manager of the Grow Organisation’s ‘Recycle & Grow’ arm. But the Grow Organisation declined this week to confirm whether this was the same person or whether Baldry was still an employee. Lynn also declined to comment.

Social Enterprise reported last week that Lynn had been suspended from his roles with Mow & Grow, the Grow Organisation and as director of the two companies pending the results of an investigation into ‘internal matters’.

Lynn said Think 3E was aiming to be the UK’s largest consortium of recycling, outside of wood recycling.

However, he said he could not discuss the management of the company before its official launch in around six weeks because of ‘clashes’ with the Grow Organisation.

‘I had lots of phone calls from people wanting my services after leaving Grow, but Think 3E stood out because it has the same vision for social change as me,’ Lynn said.

‘It’s a new organisation and the senior management team has years of experience in the recycling field. It’s a smaller set up than Grow at the moment, but there are huge opportunities for me and the public, private and third sector.’

Lynn added that he left Grow because of ‘fundamental differences in opinion on strategy’.

But he said: ‘I’ve given four years of my life building Grow up and have left it with contracts lasting five years. I want to protect the brand as best I can.’

Alex Cosgrove, who was joint CEO with Lynn of the Grow Organisation UK Ltd and remains in post as CEO, declined to comment further on the status of the investigation.

She said: ‘The Grow group is committed to continue to expand using the successful models.’



The Work Programe, replication, social franchising RIP.

Since joining Think3e many pundits thought it was a bad time to leave an established social enterprise and try and set up a new social enterprise consortium. The future job fund was cancelled, community taskforce wave 2 brought to a close, FND was slashed, and the third sector was left fighting over the scrapes.
It amazed me this July when the governments new welfare to work program decided to launch the single most important funded welfare program since the FJF (RIP), that Think3e were the only social enterprise actively flirting with potential prime contractors at the ACC Liverpool. The reason was most of the UK's social firms were in Cambridge the same two days at the UK social firms conference. Bad timing or conspiracy, I'll leave that to others to discuss.
With 3 million claimants who have not worked for a year or more , including 260,930 young people. And 3.9 million children in poverty, social enterprise needs to step up to the mark more than ever. CEO's who didnt go to Liverpool should be asking themselves was that a wise decision.

Jobs, yes I mean sustainable jobs are more important than ever. But at Think3e we find it harder than ever to find suitable partners who can replicate our model. Many talk about having staff and "capacity", but more than ever people look to us to find a sustainable model which can help maintain their fjf jobs that they have coming to an end.

More often than not its too little to late.

The problem we have is that even we who are experts at recycling only predict 3 or 4 bases open across the UK by June 2011 being ready for the work programme (each 100,000sq ft each). Under this new work program our model will literally be turned upside down and CEO's across the sector should take note.

Before we had a subsidised labour or voluntary model which meant our recycling was extremely profitable and in turn allowed us to employ more people. But the new work program has once and for all killed off this model. Where we used to make our profit on recycling, now were going to make our profit not from the recycling but from the results for creating employment. Our profit margins on recycling will go on paying wages from day one......our profits will come in the form of payments of £7500 per person we employ for a year.
For us the beauty of this is it's unlimited how many people we can employ, (not like an allocation of 700 fjf which was my origianl limit in my earlier career).
Now we will be able to employ as many people as we want all over the country. I'm sure many of you have more questions than answers....but we think the work program has great watch this space.
But after founding and running arguably the UK's best national award winning multiple social franchise I think that model is dead. I believe micro enterprises operating under license is the future of social enterprise. Time will only tell, but to see it in action come visit us at or better still come to Wellingborough where we just won Enterprising Britain's regional final. Kind regards
Trevor Lynn
Think3e 0300 111 222 3