Growing South Australia’s Companies Program FAQ’s


What is the Growing South Australia’s Companies Program?

The Growing South Australia’s Companies Program is for CEOs/MDs of South Australian companies and their executive team with 10- 200 employees who want to grow.

The CEO/MDs who benefit the most from this program:

  • Want to grow their companies
  • Have developed products, services and have customers
  • Have at least 10 full- time employees [We accept companies with fewer employees on a case-by-case basis]
  • Have an Executive Team
  • Come to an Assessment Clinic or with an open mind and want to identify what is inhibiting growth

The Growing South Australia’s Companies Program consists of two parts:

  1. Assessment Clinic

If you are the CEO/MD of a company located in South Australia, you want to grow, and you have 10 – 200 employees, the first step is to apply for the one-day Assessment Clinic. The value of the Clinic is $5,000 + GST, however the South Australian Government has underwritten the cost of Assessment Clinics for 240 SA-based companies.

In preparation for the Assessment Clinic, CEOs/MDs are required to provide financial, marketing, customer and product information, and also complete a Growth Diagnostic Tool. These documents are useful for the CEO to review and are also reviewed by our Growth Experts before the Clinic to determine which companies need help around specific issues of growth. All prep-work must be completed two weeks prior to attending the Clinic. You can read our Information Handling Policy here.

2. Growth Modules

Approximately 50% of the companies that complete the Assessment Clinic will be invited to apply for the Growth Modules. The CEO/MD and at least two executive team members of a company must agree to fully participate in all three, three-day modules, including submitting prep work and doing the home work.

What is the Assessment Clinic?

Working with Dr. Jana Matthews and/or a Growth Expert, a small group of CEOs/MDs (4 – 8) work with one or two growth experts to learn what happens during growth, understand their roles and responsibilities as leaders, discuss various strategies to grow, receive tailored advice and recommendations from the Growth Experts, develop an Action Plan for company growth and a Leadership Action Plan which they agree to implement. The CEO/MD is required to complete and submit online prep-work at least two weeks prior to the Assessment Clinic. The one-day Clinic is focused on identifying what is stopping growth, as well as what each CEO/MD can do to accelerate growth.

How many CEOs/MDs attend an Assessment Clinic?

Typically, we schedule 1 Growth Expert to deliver the one-day Clinic to a group of 4 CEOs/MDs. At times, we may have 7 – 8 CEOs and two Growth Experts.

What are the Growth Modules?

The Growth Modules are a series of three, three-day modules that teach CEOs/MDs and their executive teams how to lead, manage and grow their companies. The modules are designed for teams of at least three per company because we understand the importance of teams learning together, identifying problems inhibiting growth, and working together to develop solutions and strategies for growth. The modules build on each other and cover 12 growth stoppers. Participants are required to attend all three modules.

Each three-day module focuses on different components of AUCBG’s Knowledge Framework for Growth. The modules provide a dynamic and interactive learning experience that includes expert presentations, facilitated group discussions, peer-to-peer learning, action planning, and accountability.

The three, three day modules are spaced roughly three – four months apart, and the CEO/MD must commit to bringing at least two other executives to all three modules.

All participants (CEOs/MDs and executives) are expected to attend all three days of all three modules. Participants are expected to engage fully in all program activities and complete all prep work, on time.

The course content has been developed by Dr. Jana Matthews and is delivered by a team of Growth Experts, all of whom have started, grown and exited companies, hence have a broad base of experience growing different types of companies in different industries.

Participation in the Modules is by invitation, and a company must have completed an Assessment Clinic in order to be eligible to attend the Growth Modules.

How many companies participate in the Growth Modules Program?

The Growth Modules are designed for the CEO/MD and at least two members of the executive team, with 5 – 10 companies in a cohort. These Cohorts of 5 – 10 companies (15 – 30+ people) participate in a series of three, three-day Growth Modules with at least three Growth Experts per module. This ratio of Growth Experts to company participants supports a rich teaching-learning environment and enables participants to work with multiple Growth Experts, share experiences with peers, and network with other like-minded executives.

I have more than three people in my executive team. Am I able to bring a fourth team member to the Growth Modules?

If you would like to bring one or two additional executive team members to the Growth Modules, please contact the Centre to discuss. If we are able to accommodate additional participants, there will be a fee of $1,500 (plus GST) per additional person over three per company. This surcharge covers program materials and catering.

Why is prep work required?

Prior to the commencement of the Assessment Clinic or Growth Modules, CEOs/MDs – and their executives – are required to complete prep work, which is due two weeks before the Clinic or Module. This prep work is an essential part of the program and enables (1) the CEO/MD to identify issues and begin to see the impact they have on all parts of the organisation, and (2) the Growth Experts to identify issues and determine how to help the CEO and team unlock their growth potential. Prep work includes online diagnostics, as well as relevant documentation relating to their company’s products, marketing, structure and financials.

Prep work is a compulsory requirement before attending the Assessment Clinics or the Growth Modules. You will need to upload your company documents, using a secure cloud based file sharing system. We will create a folder specific to your company where your documents will be securely stored for the Growth Expert to review prior to your attending a Clinic or Modules.

How is my company information stored?

The Australian Centre for Business Growth recognises that your privacy and data security is important to you – and it is important to us as well. We are committed to respecting and protecting the privacy of the individuals and companies that we deal with and the security of their information. For more information about how we collect and store company information, please refer to our Information Handling Policy.

How do you maintain confidentiality of the information shared during the Growing South Australia’s Companies Program?

All participants, Centre staff and Growth Experts sign the AUCBG Confidentiality Undertaking before participating in an Assessment Clinic or Growth Modules. Our programs have been designed to enable CEOs/MDs and their executives to freely share experiences with one another, as well as our Growth Experts. All discussions are confidential and all participants agree not to share or divulge information about each other’s companies.

Who delivers the Assessment Clinic and Growth Modules?

The program is delivered by the Australian Centre for Business Growth’s Growth Experts.

Our Director, Dr Jana Matthews (who has had five companies of her own and is an international expert in entrepreneurial leadership and business growth) has carefully selected experienced CEOs who have started, grown and exited at least one company, and worked with them to become Growth Experts who teach and facilitate the programs she has developed. Growth Experts have first-hand experience in growing a company, and knowledge about business strategy, finance, technology, marketing, sales, product development and innovation. During the Assessment Clinics and the Growth Modules, they work with individual CEOs/MDs and members of their executive teams to help them unlock the growth potential of their company.

You can find more information about the Growth Experts here.

What tools and resources are available?

During and after each module, the CEO and executive team members who participated in the Modules receive access to webinars, interactive tools, resources and ‘Dr Jana Refreshers’ to help them stay on track, implement their goals and strategies, and grow.

 What are Dr Jana Refreshers?

Dr Jana Refreshers are concise chunks of knowledge that are emailed as reminders of the concepts covered in the Clinic and Growth Modules. CEOs/MDs and Executives who have attended the Centre’s program receive these emails on a fortnightly basis to help them stay on track and grow.

I understand the Centre is doing research. Will my company and its data be included in the research database?

Since its inception, the Australian Centre for Business Growth has been collecting data on companies and is doing a longitudinal tracking study of every company that participates in any of its programs. Each year, in August, the Centre research staff contact every company CEO, provides him or her with last year’s data, and asks them to provide updates so we can track the progress of all the companies who have been through our Assessment Clinics and modules. In addition, we have begun to identify inhibitors and accelerants to company growth. Our studies report aggregate data from all the companies, not individual data from a single company. The database of growth companies is the only one of its kind in Australia, and perhaps the world. The database contains data for 400 companies and we are adding several hundred companies each year as they enroll in the Centre’s Clinics and modules.

What is the cost of the Growing South Australia’s Companies program?

Assessment Clinics: the cost of the Clinic is $5,000 + GST, however the South Australian Government has underwritten the cost of Assessment Clinics for 240 SA-based companies.

Growth Modules: the value of all three modules is $38,250 + GST, however, the South Australian Government has underwritten all but $10,000 of the cost of the Growth Modules for 120 SA-based company CEOs and two members of their executive team.


My business is growing but does not have enough employees. Can I apply?

The programs currently offered by the Australian Centre for Business Growth have been designed for upper small (15 – 19 employees) and medium sized companies (20 – 199 employees). Companies with fewer than fifteen employees do not benefit as much from the program, and do not have as much relevant knowledge and experience to contribute to other CEOs as those that meet the criteria noted above.

However, if the CEO/MD has started and grown a company before, if your company has received angel/venture funding, or if your company is growing very rapidly, please contact us at the Australian Centre for Business Growth via to discuss eligibility. We have accepted companies with fewer than fifteen employees on a case-by-case basis.

Our plan includes developing a set of programs for companies with 5 – 15 employees, so please tell us if you are interested and sign up to our mailing list to receive information about new programs we are developing.

I am the CEO of a Not-For-Profit (NFP) company. Am I eligible to apply and will the content be relevant to my business?

The Assessment Clinics and Growth Modules developed by the Australian Centre for Business Growth have been designed for profit companies. Whilst we have had a few NFP companies attend the Assessment Clinic and the Growth Modules, these NFPs did so because they wanted to develop new initiatives to grow their NFP and wanted to gain the skills required to look at these initiatives from a business perspective. We are not currently delivering programs designed for Not-for-Profit Companies but will consider accepting a NFP into a Clinic or the Modules on a case-by-case basis.

If you are a NFP and would like to apply to attend the Assessment Clinic, please contact AUCBG and describe why you want to attend. One of our Program Officers will contact you. Note that we have no plans to develop programs specifically tailored for NFPs.


What is the Australian Centre for Business Growth and where is it located?

The Australian Centre for Business Growth (AUCBG) is a unit of the University of South Australia’s Business School, and is located on the University of South Australia’s City West Campus in Adelaide Australia – Level 2, Yungondi Building, UniSA City West Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000.

Our postal address: Australian Centre for Business Growth, University of South Australia, IPC CWE-51, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide SA 5001

About the Australian Centre for Business Growth

Directed by Dr Jana Matthews, Professor and ANZ Chair in Business Growth, the Centre provides high-value, world-class programs that enable CEOs/MDs and their executives to learn what to do, what to stop doing, and how and when to make the changes necessary for growth. Our programs provide participants with the knowledge and skills they need to develop as leaders, accelerate company growth and compete in a global marketplace. Programs combine diagnostics, expert presentations, facilitated group discussions, peer-to-peer learning and action planning.

Since launching in 2014, the Centre has worked with over 880 companies through its business growth programs and many of whom have experienced sustained growth since participating in a program.

95% of the CEOs/MDs who have been through our Assessment Clinics and 99% who have been through our Growth Modules say they would highly recommend them to other CEOs/MDs who want to grow their companies.

 “The program is a well-structured course that leads businesses through a process of education, application, and accountability around planning and executing growth initiatives. The program is facilitated by world class business growth experts that support the businesses while challenging them to improve. I would recommend this program to any business that is serious about growth.”

“If you want to grow your company, then you need to know what is standing in the way of that growth. The program does just that. It is a great opportunity for your executive team to come together and identify what is standing in your way of growth and what changes need to be made to your organisation, teams and plans.”


What programs are delivered by the Australian Centre for Business Growth?

 The Australian Centre for Business Growth delivers a range of programs for CEOS/MDs and their executive teams. Programs include:

  • Growing South Australia’s Companies Program
  • Growing Queensland’s Companies Program
  • Growing Australia’s Companies Programs
  • ANZ Business Growth Program

 The programs consist of two parts:

  1. Assessment Clinic
  2. Growth Modules

We have an additional program, “Accelerate & Scale” for companies who have completed the modules, as well as Growth Boosters. Please contact us via or 08 8302 0484 for more information.

My team has completed the Assessment Clinic and Growth Modules. What other programs do you offer?

We offer Growth Boosters for any CEO who has participated in a Clinic, and enrolled in the Growth Modules. We have designed Accelerate & Scale for CEOs and executives who have completed the Growth Modules.

Growth Boosters include having one of our Growth Experts deliver a one-day, tailored program at your company or at the Centre. They also include CEO dinners followed by half-day CEO work-outs.

Accelerate & Scale was designed for CEOs and their teams who have completed the Growth Modules and want continuing guidance from the Centre and our Growth Experts as they continue to grow. Accelerate & Scale includes structured learning sessions for teams, as well as custom-tailored learning activities which support each company’s individual needs.

Please contact us for more information about any of these programs


What sorts of companies attend the Australian Centre for Business Growth Programs?

 The Australian Centre for Business Growth team has worked with over 880 high growth companies from a range of industries since June 2014. Find out more about the companies who have been through our programs here.