South Seeds: a Community Energy Business Model Prospectus

Chris Carus, Matthew Hannon

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

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South Seeds is a community-led, sustainability social enterprise with charity status. It has operated in the South of Glasgow for the past ten years and has had great success engaging with the local community to deliver a range of projects designed to build a sense of community, promote sustainability and tackle poverty. After a decade of helping local people to lead more sustainable lives, South Seeds is now exploring how its business model may need to evolve into the future; in light of a fast changing market and policy landscape. The organisation is also heavily reliant on grant funding, with almost all (91%) of South Seeds' revenue over the past six financial years from restricted grants. This raises questions about how it can become more financially independent and by extension, resilient to changing funding regimes. The purpose of this report is to explore new business model options for South Seeds that simultaneously deliver on the organisation's goals of sustainability and alleviating poverty, whilst also reducing its reliance on grant funding. The aim is to generate revenue that can at the very least cover the costs of its services but ideally to generate a surplus that can be used to cross-subsidise other non-revenue generating activities for fuel poor customers. Importantly, the report was authored independently by University of Strathclyde staff, on behalf, and with the support, of South Seeds. As such, the report's contents do not necessarily represent South Seeds' preferred business strategy. Instead, it offers a range of energy business activities the charity may choose to adopt as part of its future business model.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages78
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2022


  • South Seeds
  • community energy
  • business model
  • South Side of Glasgow
  • retrofit
  • sustainable energy
  • energy efficiency


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