One Roof Women

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One Roof Women is a Melbourne start-up designed to foster women's entrepreneurship. Deeply embedded into the Melbourne and global start up scene's network, One Roof seeks to fill what it perceives as a gap[1] in offerings that specifically address women's needs in business.[2] Its emphasis on its social mission aligns it more closely with social enterprise than profit-driven start-up.[3][4]

Early Days[edit]

One Roof Women was founded by former corporate lawyer,[5] Sheree Rubinstein and US based strategist, Gianna Wurzl.[6][7] In 2015, after establishing coworking spaces in Melbourne and Los Angeles, Rubinstein and Wurzl incorporated a Sydney women's coworking space, founded by Dr Catriona Wallace,[8] into their stable. Initially focused on growth, the early iteration of the One Roof model looked at conversions of under-utilised physical spaces, to transform them into shared workspaces for women.[1][9] Leveraging the conversion of these physical spaces, one Roof sought to create a complete ecosystem supporting women in business. This ecosystem incorporated traditional networking and publicity infrastructure, such as business and start-up events and workshops, into less traditional support structures, such as yoga and meditation classes. These elements were buttressed by networked service provision for new businesses, such as legal, finance, fundraising, and communications services.[10][11]


While the Los Angeles and Sydney branches transformed into virtual networks, the Melbourne branch, run by Sheree Rubinstein, experienced enormous growth. In April 2016, One Roof took over space in Southbank and transformed it into an entrepreneurship hub that realised the initial goals of the One Roof founders, offering dedicated office space as well as coworking space. One Roof estimates it has engaged 10,000 women, across four cities, and hosted over 500 workshops.[12] In recognition of One Roof's contribution to women in business, Rubinstein won the 2016 Victorian Young Achievers Leadership Award[13][14] and was nominated as one of Australia’s top young innovators by The Foundation for Young Australians. In 2015, Rubinstein won a $10,000 seed grant from BASF to drive innovation. Rubinstein continued her connection with the One Roof charity partner, SHE, run by Melbourne-based non-profit YGAP, which seeks to foster female entrepreneurs via its accelerator programmes in Kenya, South Africa and Australia in a bid to improve the lives of women and girls.[15][16]


  1. ^ "Female entrepreneurs get their own pop-up co-working space - SmartCompany". SmartCompany. 2015-02-03. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  2. ^ "League of Extraordinary Women – Sheree Rubinstein". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  3. ^ "Why Female Founder Sheree Rubinstein Quit The Law". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  4. ^ Nicholas, Josh (2015-10-13). "This new co-working space wants to encourage female startup founders". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  5. ^ "BASF Grant" (PDF).
  6. ^ "RAISING THE CO-WORKING STANDARD". Business News Australia. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  7. ^ Zhao, Helen (2017-01-04). "From cannabis startups to surfers: Coworking spaces go more niche as the shared office market explodes". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  8. ^ "A tech hub of one's own: Australia's first space for female-led tech start-ups". Financial Review. 2015-03-24. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  9. ^ "The top 10 moments for Australian women in tech in 2015 - SmartCompany". SmartCompany. 2016-01-04. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  10. ^ "Women to co-work under One Roof". 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  11. ^ "Meet the female entrepreneurs creating new ways to connect". The Weekly Review. 2016-08-23. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  12. ^ "Sheree Rubinstein - Victorian Women's Trust". Victorian Women's Trust. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  13. ^ "Current Winners | Awards Australia". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  14. ^ "Top accolade for TOM founder - The Australian Jewish News". The Australian Jewish News. 2016-05-17. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  15. ^ "Women to co-work under One Roof". 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  16. ^ "Los Angeles-Melbourne startup community unites with poverty-fighting accelerator to put more women in front of investors - SmartCompany". SmartCompany. 2016-12-12. Retrieved 2017-05-02.