When Josh Graham graduated from UEA with an Environmental Science degree in 2015, his burning ambition was to make a difference by tackling the global housing crisis. Now, he’s on his way to fulfilling this dream, after setting up Ehab, which is unique in the UK in its approach to creating sustainable, eco-friendly housing.
Ehab is a project management platform which brings together eco-friendly housing developers and individuals or communities who want to build their own homes. Josh and his team have just signed their biggest agreement to date, with the Cambridge-Norwich Tech Corridor, who plan to build 20,000 new eco-friendly homes and office space for 24,000 jobs using the platform.
“When I came up with the initial idea for Ehab I realised it needed development and I made the most of the Student Enterprise team,” said Josh. “I attended networking evenings, workshops and trips to digital events and was successful in my pitch for both the ‘try it’ and ‘do it’ awards, giving me the funds to develop the idea. I also won an app competition and, as a result, had four student developers who created a demo app which I used at trade fairs to show to potential business partners.”
Ehab uses crowdfunding to enable individuals, organisations, schools or local governments to co-create and fund new housing developments. Investors who want to fund a project can do so by purchasing Ehab tokens, which launched with a token sale on the Ehab website in this month. The tokens work in the same way as buying a gift card for a shop, and you can put them towards any housing project on the platform.
“At present, the UK housing market is dominated by large developers and, due to the high demand, the prices get pushed up,” said Josh. “We work with eco-friendly housing developers who produce high-quality, affordable, sustainable houses which can be built in a factory in four weeks.
“The ultimate vision of Ehab is to create a system which genuinely meets people’s needs and enables the creation of sustainable neighbourhoods, towns and cities.”