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Entrepreneurs, the UniSA CBG is a school you may want to go back to.


Entrepreneurs, it may be time to go back to school. Well, just for a few days, and with a rather cool program. 

The University of South Australia’s Centre for Business Growth (UniSA CBG) recently announced the launch of a unique set of leadership programs designed to equip executives of Australia’s small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with the knowledge and skills they need to skyrocket their world domination goals. 

The Centre is established by UniSA with support from ANZ bank and works with SMEs that have a turnover of between $5 million and $50 million. In other words, business owners that are ready to take things up a few notches.

What’s the deal?

There will be programs, diagnostics, tools, and peer-to-peer learning – to help owners or their management team lead, manage, and grow their companies. CEOs and two other members of the leadership team from eight to ten companies would participate in intense and highly focused sessions consisting of expert presentations, facilitated group discussions, analyses of company weaknesses and strategic solutions

These programs have been developed by leading global growth expert Professor Matthews, and based on more than 20 years of global research and hands-on experience with companies in the US, Europe, China, India, Singapore, and New Zealand.

The public isn’t left out of the action either. The Centre has launched a series of programs for any SME leaders who want to learn to grow their business. The first three-day program “Accelerating Growth” will be held in Adelaide from February 23 – 25, 2015 with additional programs scheduled throughout the year.

Could this be the three-day MBA for SME owners?

The Centre taps on the expertise of what they term ‘international Growth Experts’, including the likes of Jeff Katz, who grew his business, Mercury Payments, from start-up into a $1.65 billion company, and Peter Saal, a tech entrepreneur and business consultant who sold his firm metaWorks to Google in 2007.

Joining the inaugural Accelerating Growth program will be Visiting Growth Executive, Dan Grace, a former Executive-in-Residence for the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Kauffman Foundation and an expert in organisational design and development. The Centre’s other Growth Experts include Shane Cheek, Paul Sandercock and Jim Schuman.

“The CEOs who have participated to date have told us our programs provide them with invaluable insights into their business,” said Professor Jane Matthews, ANZ Chair in Business Growth and Director of the Centre for Business Growth.

“By providing programs for SME leaders to learn from experts, ‘dissect business issues’ with their team and work on the business versus in the business we have helped them transform their companies.

“Since launching the Centre in September this year, we’ve already worked with more than 50 SMEs from all over Australia to transform their approach to growing their business. 

“By expanding these programs we hope to help even more companies grow, create jobs, and contribute to a stronger economy.”

According to Professor Marie Wilson, Pro Vice Chancellor (Business and Law) at UniSA Business School, matching academic and hands-on industry knowledge of growth means the Centre for Business Growth is offering the Australian market something unique.

“We believe we are offering programs that are finely tuned to the needs of Australian executives and company leaders. Everything we teach is designed to unlock the growth potential of their companies,” he says. 

Prices for the Centre for Business Growth executive education programs range from $5,000 for one-day to $20,000 for a three-day program. All are designed for the CEO or MD and two other executive team members.

A limited number of scholarships are being made available for the inaugural suite of programs.