We set up Social Business Brokers in 2010 to come up with ways to tackle complex social problems.

We’re best known for our work on empty homes. We developed an Empty Homes Doctor service in 2013 to support people to bring empty properties back into use in Leeds. Since then we’ve helped to bring over 100 homes back into use.

Over the next couple of years we want to bring our creativity and problem solving skills to other social issues - starting with how to build more affordable, sustainable homes.

Our approach to creating sustainable social change

We’ve developed a five stage approach to tackling complex social problems

1) Look for clues – we work hard to understand the social issue we want to tackle.

2) Create a buzz – we generate interest in the issue and encourage people to get involved.

3) Bring people together – we host a Call To Action where a wide range of people can explore a range of ideas.

4) Build momentum – we work with people to develop ideas explored at the Call To Action.

5) Make things happen – we do all we can to turn good ideas into sustainable social businesses.

Current Projects

Our main focus at the moment is our Empty Homes Doctor service - providing support to owners of empty homes in Leeds. We’re also working with others to set up a social enterprise to build homes in Leeds - and we have a few other early-stage ideas bubbling away too.

Empty Home Doctor

Our Empty Homes Doctor service - funded by Leeds City Council - provides free, one-to-one support to owners of empty homes to help them to bring them back into use. Since 2013, we’ve helped to bring over 100 homes back into use.

Leeds Community Homes

We’re currently working with a number of organisations in Leeds to set up a social enterprise to encourage community-led approaches to building more affordable, sustainable homes in Leeds. We should be set up this summer.

More about us

Social Business Brokers CIC was set up as a Community Interest Company in 2010 by Leeds-based social entrepreneurs Gill Coupland and Rob Greenland.


Rob Greenland

Rob is happiest trying to work out creative solutions to social problems. He spent a good few years working for a fairtrade co-op, then worked for five years helping people to set up social enterprises.

He tweets a lot - and blogs occasionally. Rob is mainly found behind the scenes, supporting the Empty Homes Doctors - whilst also helping SBB find new work.


Gill Coupland

Gill is brilliant at taking good ideas and making them work. She’s had a varied career - from financial adviser, to legal exec, to running an older people’s charity.

In 2004 she set up Angels Community Enterprises - helping older people in Leeds to continue to live at home. Gill is Empty Homes Doctor-In-Chief.


Jo Widdop

Jo completes our small team of three. We recruited Jo for her project management experience -to help keep us on track.

She’s since taken on the role of Empty Homes Doctor, alongside Gill - helping people with what can be big, complicated projects - bringing homes back into use.


Social Impact Report

We think it's important to report on the difference that we make as a business. We recently produced a social impact report for our Empty Homes Doctor service, to summarise the impact we've had over the last 12 months.

Our infographic, summarises the report's main findings, and you can read the full version of the report here.

Our News

Innovation award

Innocation Award

Our Empty Homes Doctor service recently won a national innovation award. The award, presented by the National Empty Homes Network, recognised our innovative approach to bringing empty properties back into use in Leeds. Please follow the link below to read more:

Success story

Vinery View

We think it’s important to share stories of the work that we do. We recently made this film, which follows the six month refurbishment of a long term empty home in east Leeds. The transformation is amazing - and you can see the impact it’s had on the volunteers who worked on the house too.

Get In Touch

If you’d like to chat with us about our work please get in touch.

  • Address

    Social Business Brokers CIC
    Micklethwaite House,
    70 Cross Green Lane,
    LS9 0DG
  • Phone

    0113 410 9383
  • Email

    Email us