Boosting First Nations entrepreneurs


White Box Enterprises




First Nations Business Coordinator role

Year of grant:



Private anonymous co-funder $400,000 (over two years)

The John Villiers Trust is co-funding a First Nations Business Coordinator role to boost Indigenous enterprises and bring new income sources into country communities.

May 2022

An enterprise turning feral animals into a sustainable source of soil conditioner and another offering unique experiences of First Nations maritime heritage are among the incredible indigenous enterprises supported across Queensland by White Box Enterprises, an organisation dedicated to helping create jobs for overlooked Australians through social enterprise.

To support indigenous entrepreneurs to build social businesses and bring new income sources and jobs into the community, The John Villiers Trust (JVT) is co-funding the three-year appointment of a First Nations Business Coordinator at White Box Enterprises.

Darryl Majid was appointed to the role in April 2022, to lead engagement with White Box’s growing portfolio of First Nations business partners.

“I share JVT’s commitment to creating meaningful, long-lasting change for communities in rural, regional and remote areas,” Darryl said.

“Working alongside Indigenous social enterprises in North Queensland to help build their businesses and create more local jobs is something I’m really passionate about. I’m also looking forward to working closely with the existing White Box Enterprises team and adding value on the ground in Cairns.”

Lea-Anne Bradley, JVT CEO, said the potential for indigenous enterprises to provide meaningful jobs was huge.

“White Box Enterprises expect their support for Indigenous enterprises will assist the creation of meaningful jobs for 45 young Indigenous Australians in North Queensland by 2024 and assist in countering the urban drift that saps the vitality of country communities,” Ms Bradley said.

“This project is forecast to create a further 125 new jobs in five years across eco-tourism, agriculture, environmental services, citizen science, food and beverage, and data analytics. Darryl’s input will be critical to its success.”

Ms Bradley said the project would support five First Nations enterprises by 2024 and a further five in the coming five years. The White Box team has commenced supporting First Nations employment across three different enterprises to date.

“We are proud to support White Box Enterprises and their mission to ensure there are social enterprise job opportunities in every town. We want to see that every person who is struggling to find a job has the option of a pathway to employment through social enterprise,” Ms Bradley said.

“The love of country drives JVT. We collaborate with the community, thought leaders, government, social enterprise, philanthropists, and citizen donors on projects that have multiple, deep, and long-lasting impacts.

“We are really pleased to be supporting Indigenous job creation in North Queensland through White Box Enterprises”.

Read more about JVT and White Box Enterprises

About White Box Enterprises

White Box works with social enterprises, government, investors and philanthropists to build, replicate and support large-scale social enterprises, employing overlooked and underserved people. By 2030, their goal is to enable 5,000 jobs through social enterprises.

Click here to learn more.


Growing First Nations’ Enterprises

The Project will support five First Nations’ enterprises by 2024, and establish the foundations for assisting a further five in the coming five years. The White Box team is currently supporting First Nations employment across three different enterprises, offering new products and services in feral animal control, cultural tourism and data analytics.

Creating job where they're needed most

August 2023

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and former refugees are getting training and job opportunities thanks to an initiative focused on creating jobs for communities with high unemployment. 

WBE works with social enterprises, government, investors and philanthropists to build, support and advocate for large-scale jobs-focused social enterprises, so that every individual can access meaningful and inclusive employment.

They have collaborated with Ventia – who provide essential services like infrastructure – on the Civik initiative in Cairns, in a great example of what can be achieved when you align business with a clear social purpose. 

Social enterprises have a great opportunity to help alleviate social and economic challenges in communities. Civik, a new people-centred social enterprise incubated by White Box Enterprises, aims to create 250 jobs for people who face barriers to employment, while also addressing labour shortages.

The organisation will train and employ individuals in regional Australia, giving them the skills and confidence to pursue careers in construction, engineering and telecommunications. The first crew are already working on NBN Co’s fibre upgrade program.

Read more