Katie Alcott (nee. Harrison 1994-1997) receives honorary MBA
04/09/2013
Founder of Bristol Charity receives honorary MBA from UWE Bristol

Founder of FRANK Water, Katie Alcott received the Honorary Degree of Master of Business Administration (MBA) from UWE Bristol in July, in recognition of her pioneering work. Since graduating from UWE with a degree in Fine Art, Katie has set up FRANK Water – a social enterprise and registered charity that funds life-saving clean water projects.

The honorary degree was conferred at the Award Ceremony of the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education on Wednesday 24 July at Bristol Cathedral.

Born in Worcester in 1978, Katie grew up on the family farm in Herefordshire with her parents and three siblings. Educated at Hillside and Lawnside Schools in Malvern, she moved to Hereford Cathedral School to take GCSEs and A levels before applying to UWE’s Bower Ashton Campus to study Fine Art.

Katie’s interest in international issues, specifically access to drinking water, was sparked on a trip to India in 1997. During time spent teaching at a community school in Kashmir, Northern India, Katie suffered amoebic dysentery from drinking dirty water. This led her to realise how poor water quality affected the local communities, an experience which would later inspire her business.

When studying for her degree, Katie travelled to several other developing nations where she noted the drinking water conditions and their effects, whilst photographing and collecting inspiration for her degree work.

In 2005, having moved back to Bristol, Katie founded FRANK Water, a social enterprise. Based on the concept of water for water, she sold her own ethical brand of bottled water to local shops, cafes and restaurants and donated the profits to clean water projects. In 2007, she established FRANK Water Projects, a registered charity that could receive direct donations. To date, FRANK Water has funded 104 clean water projects, providing access to sustainable, safe water to over quarter of a million people in rural India.

Bristol-based FRANK Water now has a team of five staff and over 40 dedicated volunteers, many of whom are involved in the innovative ‘FreeFill’ initiative which has been developed as a more sustainable drinking water solution for the UK festival market.

Katie has won numerous local and national entrepreneurship awards, and now balances her time between the trading arm (UK sales of bottled water and FreeFill) and the registered charity.

UWE has been a firm supporter of Katie as an alumna and of FRANK Water, stocking the bottled water and providing publicity and funding.

Katie recently moved back to Herefordshire where she lives with her husband Tom and three children Amelia, Reuben and Elodie.

For more information see www.frankwater.com
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