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

Our two main projects are Empty Homes Doctor and Zero Waste Leeds. Since 2013 our Empty Homes Doctor services has helped to bring back into use over 700 long-term empty homes in Leeds.

We set up Zero Waste Leeds in 2018 to build a movement to help Leeds to become a zero waste city by 2030. We have delivered a number of high impact behaviour change campaigns on themes including recycling, waste reduction and school uniform reuse.

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 aim is to take a collaborative approach to tackling complex social problems. The two main issues we are working on at the moment are empty homes, and waste reduction.

Empty Home Doctor

Empty Homes Doctor

Through Empty Homes Doctor we provide intensive, bespoke support to owners of long-term empty homes in Leeds, to help them to bring homes back into use. With support from Leeds City Council, we have brought back into use over 700 empty homes since 2013.

Zero Waste Leeds

Zero Waste Leeds

Through Zero Waste Leeds we are building a movement to help Leeds to become a zero waste city. We run behaviour change campaigns to help people in Leeds to waste less, focusing on themes including food waste reduction, school uniform reuse, and recycling.

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 helped to set up Empty Homes Doctor and Zero Waste Leeds, and currently most of his time is spent working on Zero Waste Leeds.

A social innovator, Rob enjoys the challenge of working with people to find new ways to tackle tricky social problems. He’s particularly interested in environmental issues, and you can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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, and increasingly involved in Zero Waste Leeds - leading on our Leeds School Uniform Exchange project.


Jo Widdop

Jo has worked with us since the early days of Social Business Brokers. We recruited Jo for her project management experience - to help keep us on track.

For the last seven years Jo has been one of our Empty Homes Doctors, alongside Gill and Sue - 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 Leeds School Uniform Exchange project, to summarise the impact we have had so far.
You can read the full report here.

Our News

Leeds School Uniform Exchange

Leeds School Uniform Exchange

With support from Leeds City Council and Leeds Community Foundation, we recently launched Leeds School Uniform Exchange - to support people across Leeds to set up schemes to swap good quality second hand school uniforms. You can read more about the project by clicking the link below.

Media coverage for Zero Waste Leeds

Vinery View

We work hard to get the word out about the work that we do - it is one of the ways that we grow our movement. Over the last few months we have featured regularly in local media - including appearances on BBC Look North, BBC Radio Leeds and features in the Yorkshire Evening Post. You can find out more here

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