Six SMEs in line for business innovation award

Small and medium companies who participated in the Northern Territory Business Acceleration Program (BAP), increased their revenue by more than $21.3M and added 163 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the 2021 financial year, UniSA’s Australian Centre for Business Growth has announced.

Six of the companies were in line for the prestigious Business Innovation Growth Award, which was announced at the Business Innovation Strategy 2.0 launch held at the Northern Australia Development Office in Darwin.

BAP is an initiative of the NT Government, designed and delivered by the AUCBG, and hosted by the Darwin Innovation Hub and the NT Chamber of Commerce.

The program enables local business owners, CEOs, and Managing Directors to apply innovative thinking as they lead, manage, and accelerate the growth of their companies.

In 2020-21, small and medium NT company respondents who had been through BAP had a 10 per cent increase in revenue, 86 per cent increase in profits, and a 20 per cent uplift in jobs over the prior year.

During 2020-21, six BAP graduates: Harris Kmon Solutions, Kolsen, Monsoon Aquatics, Tangibilis Physiotherapy, Associated Advertising and Promotions, and Winnellie Hydraulics grew from 14% to 100%. All six companies were  considered for the Business Innovation Growth Award with the winner announced as Harris Kmon Solutions during the Business Innovation Strategy 2.0 launch on the evening of 10 March, 2022.

Northern Territory Minister for Small Business, Paul Kirby says he was delighted to see that BAP had helped so many small and medium NT companies overcome a second year of challenges associated with the pandemic.

“The Business Acceleration Program is a fantastic initiative that helps Territorians upskill while boosting businesses and creating jobs,” Kirby says.

“We want to help our small businesses in any way we can and we know graduates from this program have reported strong job growth, an increase in revenue, and increases in profit.

“The Territory Government will continue to support small business, which is why we had over 400 new businesses enter the market last year.”

BAP companies had anywhere from a 14 per cent – 60 per cent increase in revenue and a 21 per cent – 100 per cent growth in jobs.  This is an incredible achievement, which will positively affect other companies and communities throughout the Territory.

ANZ Chair in Business Growth and Director of AUCBG Dr Jana Matthews said the Centre is honoured by the opportunity to work with so many Northern Territory companies who are willing to learn how to innovate and make the changes needed to grow.

“Some people think that business innovation only occurs in labs where people wear white coats and develop the next cure for cancer – or that innovation is reserved for technology companies,” Dr Matthews says.

“This is not so.  There are many ways that any small and medium company can innovate, such as pricing, products, payments, systems, management structure, or using technology to do dangerous or repetitive jobs or simplify work.

“The research is clear: companies that encourage their employees to think of new ways to serve their customers actually perform better, generate more revenue, have more engaged employees, lower staff turnover, are more profitable, grow faster, and create more jobs.”

“For a company to achieve sustained growth, a CEO needs to learn how to build a culture that supports innovation and change; how to select, lead and manage people; how to design new products with customers; and which new business models work best when responding to different customers’ needs and wants.

“These are some of the concepts we teach in BAP, and the results speak for themselves. We look forward to helping many more NT companies learn how to innovate and grow in the years ahead.”

About the Australian Centre for Business Growth

Established in June 2014, the Australian Centre for Business Growth (AUCBG) at the University of South Australia, part of UniSA Business, provides business owners, CEOs/MDs and executives of small and medium companies (enterprises with 5-199 employees) with the knowledge and skills they need to develop as leaders, accelerate company growth, and compete in a global marketplace. The Centre’s programs were designed, developed, and are delivered, by Growth Experts who have started, grown, and exited companies and understand the process of company growth. The programs use diagnostics, expert presentations, facilitated group discussions, peer-to-peer learning, and action planning to enable CEOs and their executive teams to learn how to lead, manage, and accelerate company growth. To date over 1,250 companies have gone through at least one program offered by the Centre and thousands more have attended webinars and workshops.

Media contact:  
Beroze Dubash, Kicker Communications
Phone: +61 403 402 228

Interested in innovation? Read ‘How leaders foster innovation’.