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Social enterprise works.

The Payment By Outcomes trial is the first of its kind in Australia. The Department of Social Services is partnering with White Box Enterprises and 16 social enterprises to measure the effectiveness of jobs-focused social enterprises in creating long-term meaningful employment for people who face barriers to work.

The trial specifically focuses on individuals living with a disability or those eligible for the Community Development Program, who have been out of work for at least nine of the last 12 months.

Social enterprises are being paid for the first time for job outcomes they create at six, 12 and 18 months. These payments are designed to cover the costs of wrap-around supports.

First year results of the trial show that social enterprises are effective in creating meaningful employment with retention rates at 86%, well above the predicted rate of 62%. 

Further research undertaken by White Box shows how social enterprise compares to existing Disability Employment Services (DES) with a social enterprise outperforming on retention, individual earnings and cost savings to government. The full report is available below. 

Retention rates: social enterprise v Disability Employment Services (Taylor Fry report, June 2023)

The positive ripple effects

Aisha* is a 31-year-old woman who while using Employment Service Providers, spent years completing training courses and volunteering at Vinnies for retail work experience. As an epileptic person, she was often sick and not confident to travel on her own. Now part of the Green Collect team, Aisha's health condition has improved, she enjoys upskilling at work, and her ambition is to become a team leader.

“The people here are so caring. They understand what your mental health is.”
– Aisha*, Green Collect.

Data reports including CSI's First Year evaluation and Taylor Fry's report can be found below.

Progressive results of the Payment By Outcomes Trial


As at 31 March 2024, there were 132 participants who re/entered work and enrolled in the PBO Trial.


participants are in
award-wage employment with a social enterprise


participants have
transitioned to mainstream employment


retention rate,
higher than the predicted retention rate of 62%


individuals have left
the trial


participating social enterprises

Of the 132 participants:


are aged 18-29 years


the percentage of
females to males


live in a major city
– 14.4% live in
rural/regional areas


Average fortnightly income earned by participants working with a social enterprise


outcome payments
have been earned*

*13-fortnights working with a social enterprises and earning at least $513 per fortnight,
and/or 13-fortnights working with a competitive employer and earning at least $855 per fortnight).


Data talks

Our mission at White Box is to mainstream social enterprise.
To do this we’re building our case with data so our country’s key decision makers can see just how valuable social enterprises are to individuals, our communities and the economy.

Participating social enterprises

Ability Works
Clean Force
Fruit 2 Work
Good Sammy
Green Collect
Kalan Enterprises
Vanguard Laundry
Your Town

Impact Investors

This is the third PBO trial launched under the Australian Government’s Social Impact Investing Initiatives, however the first involving impact investors. A special thanks to Macquarie Group Foundation, Tripple and Hand Heart Pocket Foundation, the trial would not have been possible without your support.

Hand Heart Pocket
Macquarie Group

Latest news

November 27, 2023
PBO Trial exceeds expectations in its first year
White Box Enterprises has released its first year independent evaluation of the Payment By Outcomes Trial for social enterprise in collaboration with Centre for Social Impact Swinburne.
August 2, 2023
New data reveals individuals earn more and stay employed longer in a social enterprise
According to a new report commissioned by White Box, social enterprise outperforms Disability Employment Services (DES) on retention, individual earnings and cost savings to government.
July 27, 2023
From little things big things grow
One of White Box's first employees, Angharad Lubbock, reflects on the evolution of the Payment By Outcomes Trial and her journey with the organisation. 


Where you'll find us 

We have teams in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Brisbane HQ
Witton Barracks, 9 Lambert Road, Indooroopilly QLD 4068
Mailing Address:
PO Box 590, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006


White Box is always on the lookout for people that have social enterprise in their blood. We don’t have any positions open at the moment but we are always recruiting. Find out more.


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Acknowledgement of Country

We are proud to work with social enterprises all over Australia. We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the land we work and live on, recognising that Sovereignty was never ceded. We pay our respects to the First People of this country, their culture and Elders past, present and emerging.