Social Business Brokers

Collaborative low carbon solutions

At Social Business Brokers we aim to come up with creative, collaborative solutions to complex social problems.  We’re best known for our work on housing.  In 2013 we set up a service called Empty Homes Doctor, which helps people who own empty homes in Leeds to bring them back into use.  Since then, with support from Leeds City Council, we’ve helped to bring over 200 long-term empty homes back into use.

In 2015 we got involved with a project to set up a Community Land Trust for Leeds.  We helped to set up Leeds Community Homes - which aims to take a “community-led” approach to creating 1000 permanently affordable homes in Leeds over the next ten years.  We helped to launch a community share offer in 2016 - which raised over £360,000 from 275 people to invest in the creation of our first 16 “People Powered Homes”.  These homes will be part of Citu's Climate Innovation District development in the South Bank.  

Now that our housing work is well established, we are keen to get involved in tackling other social issues in Leeds.  Our main focus currently is exploring how we can develop more local approaches to tackling climate change.  We are currently researching how we can develop social enterprises which could help our city to reduce carbon emissions, whilst also making Leeds a better place for people to live.

We’re exploring a range of ideas, around themes including community energy, transport, waste and local food.  Our plan is to continue to research opportunities during early Autumn, with the aim of piloting one or two ideas early in 2018.  We took a similar approach when establishing our work on empty homes - and four years on we continue to deliver a range of social impacts through Empty Homes Doctor.  Our aim is to establish a social enterprise with a focus around tackling climate change, which has similar long-term benefits for our city.

Rob Greenland, co-director of Social Business Brokers, says:  “We are convinced that many of the solutions for tackling climate change will come from our cities.  Of course there’s so much that needs doing at national and international levels too.  But cities offer real opportunities for engaging local people in how we can change how we live and how we do business.  At Social Business Brokers we’re keen to play a part in exploring social business opportunities to tackle climate change in Leeds.  We’d love to talk with people who are keen to explore ideas with us."

It’s easy to feel helpless when faced with an issue like climate change.  But there are opportunities to act - and we need to take those opportunities.  At Social Business Brokers we’re increasingly convinced that many of the solutions that will be developed with be at city-level.  That’s the level where you can create relationships and partnerships to make things happen - and it’s the level at which people could see the benefits of low-carbon living.

Read Rob's blog on  ideas to tackle climate change in Leeds