SEWF Events

Meet White Box Enterprises – SEWF 2022 Co-host

by Mirabelle Morah / March 2022

Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) is a staple in the life of the global social enterprise community. As the Forum lands in Brisbane (it hasn’t been in Australia since Melbourne hosted it in 2009!), it wouldn’t be possible without organisations that are committed to bringing the event to life. That’s where White Box Enterprises comes in as Co-hosts of SEWF 2022.

White Box Enterprises is building a world where anyone who wants a job can get one.

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They are one of few organisations in Australia building large-scale jobs-focused social enterprises – both from the ground up and through national replication.

In 2017, White Box Enterprises’ Co-Founder Luke Terry was granted a Westpac Social Change Fellowship, a huge part of his personal growth story, as well as a catalyst for his work in the social enterprise sector. On his global tour of social enterprises, common themes kept appearing: enterprises were lacking finance, property, leadership and wrap-around support. Jobs-focused social enterprises were thinner on the ground simply because the resources weren’t available – it wasn’t an attractive or easy market for entrepreneurs to work in.

Luke, alongside Co-Founder Lisa Siganto, knew the social enterprise business model held the power to create jobs and engage people in meaningful, long-lasting work. So together, they set out to start White Box Enterprises.

White Box Enterprises works in advisory, property and finance services, alongside its advocacy in the social enterprise sector. It has a two-pronged approach to making a mark on jobs-focused social enterprises:

  1. By starting two new jobs-focused social enterprises each year. The White Box team identifies real market gaps, scales business opportunities to develop sustainable, commercially competitive models and supports job creation for overlooked and underserved Australians. The first two social enterprises they created – Hotel Housekeeping and Australian Spatial Analytics – operate at scale and are visible beacons. The team has just kicked off their third social enterprise, Sheetly, with a fourth being launched shortly.
  2. By developing a range of services to assist other jobs-focused social enterprises to start and grow. This includes:
    • A finance arm that works closely with social enterprises to find the right finance for their needs. In 2021 White Box Finance raised/accessed $15 million AUD to meet social enterprise needs.
    • A property arm that has helped nine social enterprises move into affordable, appropriate spaces, assisting in the negotiation of leases, management of fit-outs and where need be working with White Box Finance to unlock capital.
    • An advisory team with lived experience in piloting and scaling jobs-focused social enterprise, allowing them to support social enterprises in practical ways, leveraging contemporary market trends and providing tailored options.
    • A focus on systems change under which they are developing Australia’s first social enterprise ‘Payment by Outcome’ pilot where social enterprises will be paid for the employment outcomes they provide and co-hosting the Social Enterprise World Forum – which is proving to be a catalytic change vehicle for the sector.

“We’re not building social enterprises for the sake of building them”, Luke says. “We’re building them to be beacons. They demonstrate something different. They showcase what social enterprises can be”.  

Fitting with the SEWF 2022 theme, “Co-creating the future”, White Box Enterprises is committed to supporting social enterprises and deepening the sector to give organisations all over Australia – and the world – no excuse not to reach out to social enterprises when it comes to procurement decisions

The team at White Box Enterprises know how important SEWF is for the sector, particularly as the world attempts to emerge from the pandemic crisis, which is why they put their hat in the ring – and ultimately gained the opportunity – to put on the event.

To join White Box Enterprises at SEWF22 in Brisbane, make sure you grab your ticket today. Digital Passes are also available to make sure you don’t miss any of the action, no matter where you are in the world.


By White Box Enterprises

Mirabelle Morah is the community and communications manager at SEWF