Emmaus recognizes that the UK desperately needs more business start-ups. Small businesses are engines for economic growth, innovation and employment. We need more entrepreneurial activity and that means more individuals taking the courageous decision to start their own business. Emmaus Bristol has utilised funding from the European Regional Development Fund to set up a business incubator designed around the needs of fledgling businesses.

Head of Innovation, Peter Gifford: “Ideas, commitment and drive are valued and welcomed in our low cost environment. We offer safe, secure enterprise units within Backfields House at a cost flexible to suit the start-up period. Our space is Wi-Fi connected and includes meeting rooms for use by our entrepreneurs. Backfields House is located in the centre of Bristol’s most creatively driven quarter and we offer a range of brilliant, newly renovated open-plan workspaces. Our entrepreneurs include people of all backgrounds, so if you are changing your life from a chaotic situation, escaping a cycle of homelessness or overcoming personal challenges, we would love to assist you on that path to running your own business”.

We have a wide range of businesses and social enterprises within the business incubator, including

Me Maps

Enables young people to develop skills, talents, aspirations and purpose using arts, digital media and trusted networks to explore roles and opportunities, set goals, build portfolios and celebrate achievements.

Kecks Clothing

An upcycled clothing label running workshops and a textile reuse consultancy on site at Emmaus Bristol. Recognised by The Earth Champions Foundation as making an outstanding contribution.

Eco Sheen

Independent green cleaning business and Emmaus Bristol’s office cleaner. Mentored and trained through the Incubator.

TSCG (The-Society)

A Community Association set up for the relief of unemployment for public benefit, including assistance to find work in Bristol, The-Society is an alternative employment agency in the inner city of Bristol that provides an array of employment related services that address the social problems people face.


A publishing social enterprise that produces books and magazines. Arkbound sponsors talented authors from disadvantaged backgrounds and provides a range of quality services to writers and young journalists. The enterprise also runs an annual literary award, a writing competition, a Publishing Excellence Programme, and a Regional Editors’ Network that is backed by the Council of Europe. Arkbound is committed to supporting social inclusion, environmental sustainability, artistic talent and community development.

Produces the community magazine, Vocalise, for Ashley Ward in Bristol. Funded by the Big Lottery, Quartet, Bristol City Council and others.

Original Copy

Providing in-house copywriting, marketing and social media services to charities, social enterprises and small business entrepreneurs.


Interculture’s main aim is to reduce ‘othering’ starting in the local community, through intercultural training, workshops and events to raise cultural awareness, increase inclusiveness and encourage open dialogue around cultural issues in Bristol.

Freedom Project 

Supports setting up sustainable social enterprises in Ghana, West Africa that empowers communities with emphasis on creating employment for young people to prevent child exploitation.

Bristol & Bath Regional Capital CIC

A public benefit investment company working with local people, companies and institutions in the West of England to catalyse regional change.

Civil Security Solutions

Bristol’s first community interest security company specialising in community related security projects, including security at local events and festivals. Civil Security Solutions recently provided security for Crisis at Christmas in Bristol.

We don’t just provide desk space – we expect you to take an active part in our close knit mentoring and training programme. “The Emmaus team will meet with you to discuss how your business is doing, listen to the issues you may be facing and help you identify potential solutions. We will walk beside you as you get to learn about the highs and lows of running your own business and our training programme will help to equip you as your business grows. The team can also guide you towards support that may be available from regional and national schemes, with help to access them. We also encourage our enterprises to support each other – we meet together regularly and share our experience and knowledge in creative ways.”

Our aim within the business incubator is not only to help enterprises to develop and thrive, but for our enterprises to be role models and mentors in their communities.

If this sounds like you, please contact us so that we can arrange an informal meeting when you can see round and chat about your needs and discover together whether the Emmaus Business Incubator is a suitable place for you to take those first steps with your business or enterprise.