Dr Jana Matthews

Professor, ANZ Chair in Business Growth and Director of the Australian Centre for Business Growth at the University of South Australia

An international expert on entrepreneurial leadership and business growth, Dr Jana Matthews is the founding director of the Centre with a team of  14 staff and 16 Growth Experts (CEOs who have started, grown, and exited companies) who teach structured growth programs, work with business owners, CEOs/MDs and executive team members, helping them develop and execute plans for growth, attract and retain talent, enhance their own leadership, develop products/services that customers value, and build great organisations that can scale and create jobs. More than 1,200 business owners and CEOs/MDs have enrolled in  Business Growth Clinics and intensive Business Growth Programs. The Centre has received international acclaim and awards from the European Foundation for Management Development and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business for its programs’ impact on company growth.

Dr Matthews has served on seven boards and founded five companies of her own in the USA. She was recruited to the original senior team of the Kauffman Foundation’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership, where she was the architect of highly successful programs designed to teach CEOs and their executive teams how to lead and manage growth. Additional responsibilities included working with 17 venture capital companies to design/develop the Kauffman Fellows Program, plus programs to educate angel investors, facilitate technology transfer, and create ecosystems to support growth companies.

Dr Matthews studied at the University of London, Yale University and has a doctorate from Harvard. She is frequently asked to speak and consult about leading and managing growth, globalisation, innovation, and the roles and responsibilities of leaders of growth companies. She has written over 150 articles and eight books including Managing Partnerships between Higher Education and Industry.  Several of her books have been published in multiple languages. In 2018, Forbes listed her book Leading at the Speed of Growth (2001) as #1 on the list of books technology entrepreneurs were reading and recommended.

She has been a Global Thought Leader for SAP, has written articles and been featured in Investor Business Daily, Inc., The Australian, Australian Financial Review, The Conversation, Boss, BRW, AICD magazine, Smart Company, Startup Daily, and Entrepreneur.com and was on the first StartupAUS board. She was named one of 18 Women Business Gurus in the world – the only one focused on entrepreneurial leadership and business growth, has been identified as one of the leading women in Australia’s innovation ecosystem, was on the 2018 AFR list of “100 Women of Influence” in Australia, and chairs the Selection Committee for the Commonwealth’s Boosting Female Founders Initiative.

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