Thursday 20 August 2015

Emmaus Bristol's enterprise scheme secures two new businesses

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Emmaus Bristol has welcomed two new enterprises to its business incubator unit, Community association TSCG (THE-SOCIETY Community Group) which battles local unemployment and green cleaning business, Eco Sheen. Both recently joined the unit at Emmaus Bristol taking the number of businesses to 10.

The business incubator was set up in 2014 with funding from the European Regional Development Fund to support start-up businesses. The unit is based at Emmaus Bristol’s charity superstore in Backfields, St Pauls which sells second hand furniture and provides meaningful work in its social enterprise and a home to formerly homeless people.

The incubator provides office space and support for new start-up businesses creating a hub where local businesses can network and collaborate.  The Emmaus team provides mentoring and training. Guidance is also given about the highs and lows of running your own business and the resources available such as regional or national schemes. They discuss problems entrepreneurs may be facing and identify solutions. Enterprises are also encouraged to support one another meeting regularly to share experience and ideas.

The businesses are run by people from all sorts of backgrounds, perhaps escaping a cycle of homelessness or overcoming personal challenges.

Efiom Ene–Obong owns TSCG, which started up in 2014 to improve employment and social inclusion for individuals in inner city Bristol. The advice service aims to beat generational poverty and unemployment. Efiom’s colleague Laura Moreno has joined the team working three days a week.

Speaking of his experiences, Efiom said:

In the last year we have helped more than 100 people secure training opportunities and jobs and provided guidance on upskilling and interviews in a number of industries including cleaning, security, construction, call centre, admin, tech support and catering.

Due to an increase in rent we were about to become homeless ourselves. We now have a purpose built office environment to work from and a permanent home for the business. In the last month, five clients have gotten back into full time work. Some people we have helped have been out of work for years or have never held down a job before, so these results are fantastic.

Anton Brown is a familiar face at Emmaus as the office cleaner.  He has recently joined the mentoring and training programmes as he seeks to develop his Green Cleaning Business, Eco Sheen. 

Anton describes his first few weeks: “I’ve been running my own cleaning business for two years now and heard about the hub through my work at Emmaus. Richard, the CEO there introduced me to Peter and we talked about how I saw my business growing and what shape I would like it to be in the future. The incubator will help me to achieve this and I’ve already signed up to some training.”

Peter Gifford, Head of Innovation, Emmaus Bristol Business Incubator said “It is great to have Eco Sheen and TSCG join us in the Emmaus Bristol Business Incubator.  Both businesses are striving to make our city even better – for Efiom, his passion is to give men and women from the poorer parts of the  inner city a chance to gain skills and become employable – something that is close to the heart of Emmaus.  Anton has managed this for himself and now wants to expand his cleaning business, giving others job stability, whilst promoting the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products.  It has been inspiring to work with Anton and Efiom and their staff.”