Business leader, Naomi Milgrom AC gifts Cremorne building to White Box and ASA

Naomi Milgrom AC, one of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and philanthropists, has provided 1,500sqm of premium office space located in the heart of Cremorne to White Box Enterprises and Australian Spatial Analytics (ASA) so they can establish a foothold in Melbourne and create more jobs for overlooked Victorians.

The two organisations will utilise the space rent-free for at least 12 months, allowing them to build their networks and businesses and boost their capacity to secure a permanent home in Melbourne.

ASA is one of three social enterprises White Box has incubated since its inception in 2019. Recognising the overlooked talent of neurodiverse young adults, and skills shortage and offshoring in data analytics, founder Luke Terry and his team established the strengths-based social enterprise to create jobs for young autistic adults.

Focused primarily on providing high quality data analysis for businesses and governments, ASA has had rapid growth, securing contracts with Department of Foreign Affairs and Ventia. This has seen the organisation grow from three to 80 employees in just 18 months. 75% of their employees live with a disability, and almost all are under 30 years of age.

Their expansion into Melbourne will allow ASA to create an additional 50 roles for neurodiverse Victorians by the end of 2022.

“Ms Milgrom’s generosity will have an incredible ripple effect. Having an official home in Melbourne will allow ASA to create more jobs and opportunities for talented neurodiverse Australians, while also giving us the chance to firmly establish White Box in the local market,” says Luke Terry, CEO and Founder of White Box Enterprises.

“Westpac Foundation and Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation have also provided funding and non-financial support making the move to Melbourne a possibility,” says Terry.

White Box recently worked with four impact investors and the Victorian State Government to repurpose a vacant warehouse in Braybrook, in Melbourne’s west to create a new jobs precinct for two growing jobs-focused social enterprises Green Collect and YMCA Rebuild. The new hub will see the organisations create an additional 300 jobs over the next three years for people who face barriers to mainstream employment.

“In addition to building jobs-focused social enterprises from the ground up, we also specialise in property, unlocking the potential of unused real estate for social enterprises. We work with philanthropists, state governments and corporates to reactivate underutilised properties,” says Terry.

“We take on these spaces in their disused conditions and undertake capital refurbishment works, creating custom spaces for jobs-focused social enterprises. The Braybrook precinct is just one example of this.”

Terry launched White Box Enterprises in 2019 to address the constraints he routinely confronted when launching social enterprises: access to affordable space, access to capital, and to partnerships that would help bring jobs-focused social enterprise into the mainstream fabric of employment in Australia.

In addition to the three jobs-focused social enterprises White Box has launched, two more are due for launch in 2023. Ms Milgrom’s support extends to one of these new ventures - Beacon Laundry - a social enterprise commercial laundry near Byron Bay that will generate 120 jobs for disadvantaged individuals in the NSW North Coast region.