Social enterprise is central to the Emmaus model as it provides meaningful work for companions but also generates the funding that maintains our communities.
Work is an integral part of community life, and the social enterprise side of the community helps to generate the income that will ultimately make each of our communities self-sustaining, something every community is working towards.
Our research shows that 79% of companions who have lived at Emmaus for a few months say that working and having something to do every day has been most beneficial part of their experience.
The main business activity for Emmaus communities is collecting donated furniture and household goods and selling them in our shops. Some items are refurbished or, in the case of electrical items, PAT tested for safety.
We also run Emmaus cafés, house clearance businesses, gardening projects and clothing shops. Many Emmaus communities also “upcycle” old furniture, re-painting and re-upholstering it to give it a new lease of life before it is sold on. This gives Emmaus companions the opportunity to gain new skills, or use their existing creative flair to bring something back into use.
Everyone at Emmaus plays a part in keeping the community and the business running smoothly.