UniSA and ANZ Put Business Growth Front and Centre

September 9, 2014

An innovative new partnership between the University of South Australia and ANZ will be launched today and is set to give small to medium enterprises (SMEs) the knowledge, tools, and expertise they need to grow their businesses and compete in a globally competitive marketplace.

As part of the new partnership, UniSA will launch a new Centre for Business Growth at UniSA Business School, City West campus, with ANZ as the foundation sponsor. ANZ will also sponsor the new Chair in Business Growth at UniSA, which will be held by internationally respected SME business growth expert Professor Jana Matthews.

As the foundation Director of the Centre for Business Growth, Prof Matthews will deliver programs tailored for the business community, and she will lead research into business growth and development.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says he welcomes ANZ’s support.

“Our new Centre for Business Growth will provide a unique set of programs for CEOs and executives that combine diagnostics, clinics, tools, programs, and peer-to-peer learning, all designed to help participants to better lead, manage, and grow their companies,” Prof Lloyd says.

“ANZ is the first company to sponsor a program for a select set of its high potential SME customers and we will be working together to expand the number of companies in the program with a special focus on Australian SMEs.

“Through the Centre itself and work led by the ANZ Chair in Business Growth, Prof Matthews, we’ll be developing a better understanding of industry and business needs and harnessing real world data to inform more research into business development, SME operations and the economic and structural factors that underpin business success, sustainability and growth.

“This is a great example of how universities can form effective industry alliances to support enterprising approaches to building economic strength for the state and the nation.”

ANZ General Manager of Small Business Banking, Kate Gibson says the collaboration with UniSA will help drive success for SMEs Australia-wide.

““In Australia there are more than 2 million small to medium sized businesses, creating two of every three jobs in our economy and employing half of our private-sector workforce. Together, they are the largest employers in the country, so supporting them is very important for the health of the national economy,” Gibson says.

“The ANZ Business Growth Program is designed to help CEOs and executive team members better lead, manage and grow their companies. We are focusing on SMEs with revenue between $5m and $50m because we believe they have the most potential for growth.

“Through this program, 40 ANZ customers will be selected to attend a one day clinic with Prof Matthews. Ten of these customers will then qualify for a more intensive coaching program commencing in October this year.”

In addition the tailored learning program, peer-to-peer interaction and networking opportunities will allow CEOs to collaborate and connect with like-minded people, forming support networks with other professionals.

“We know there is a strong appetite from the SME community for these types of programs, and early feedback from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive,” Gibson says.

Background: Professor Jana Matthews Director, UniSA Centre for Business Growth

Prof Jana Matthews is an international expert on entrepreneurial leadership and business growth. As the Director of the UniSA Centre for Business Growth and the founding CEO of The Jana Matthews Group, she helps CEOs, corporate executives and boards unlock their company’s growth potential.

Prof Matthews helps companies develop and execute plans for growth, attract and retain talent, develop products and services that meet customer’s needs, and improve their leadership effectiveness.

Based in Adelaide, Australia and Boulder, Colorado, US, Prof Matthews is the former Managing Director of the Innovyz START Institute and former Program Director of the ANZ Innovyz START accelerator program.

Recruited to the original senior team of the Kauffman Foundation’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership, she was the architect of highly successful programs designed to teach CEOs and their executive teams how to lead and manage growth. She worked with 17 venture capital companies to design and develop the Kauffman Fellows Program. Prof Matthews was also instrumental in the development of programs for angel investors, technology transfer, and the creation of ecosystems to support entrepreneurs and growth companies.

Globally in demand as a consultant and speaker, she has been invited to speak at major conferences and corporate meetings in the UK, Europe, Russia, Australia, India, Singapore, Malaysia, China, New Zealand, Canada and the USA about leading and managing growth, globalisation, innovation, and the roles and responsibilities of leaders of growth companies.

She was a monthly columnist for Dow Jones’ Startupjournal.com, is frequently quoted in Inventor Business Daily, Inc. magazine, and was named one of 18 Women Business Gurus in the world – the only one focused on entrepreneurial leadership and business growth.

In 2004, the New Zealand government asked her to develop a program to teach companies to grow.

In 2005 and 2006, she was Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Auckland’s Graduate School of Enterprise and did one of her Leader Forums in Adelaide.

Prof Matthews presented to a US Department of Commerce and the People’s Republic of China meeting on company growth in Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an and was invited back to teach in the international MBA program at Peking University.

In 2008, while Global Thought Leader for SAP, she spoke in Orlando, Delhi, Mumbai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Singapore and Sydney. In 2009 she was keynote speaker at an international forum on entrepreneurship in Kuala Lumpur.

In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Innovate SA engaged her to teach sessions on the role of boards and executive teams in growth companies, as part of the Venture Attraction Program.

Prof Matthews has a BA from Earlham College, spent her junior year abroad at the University of London, did graduate work at Yale University, and received a doctorate in management and planning from Harvard University.