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Female SME business owners need to think beyond the million-dollar mark says this leading serial entrepreneur


Top SME business growth program, Acceler8 Academy is expanding from its Brisbane base into Sydney and Melbourne, following its success in helping over 200 Australian female founders turn around their businesses.

Founded by award winning serial entrepreneur Tanya Titman, Acceler8 Academy is a 12-month program designed to educate, inspire and empower women to grow and scale their businesses.

“Women have a powerful track-record in creating and leading SME businesses in Australia,” said Ms Titman.

“Their main challenge is that they lack the confidence to think about growing and scaling a business beyond the imaginary financial ceiling of a million dollars. We know through our work with hundreds of SME’s in this category that there is boundless potential for women to lead multi-million dollar businesses in Australia. They just need the tools, the confidence, and the support of a strong leadership network to achieve this kind of growth.”

What does the Acceler8 program entail?

The Acceler8 program tackles eight key areas of business success including: identifying business goals; financial and cashflow management; pricing, growth and marketing strategy; funding options; and succession planning for those looking to exit their business venture in the future.

The program promises participants a minimum 30 percent lift in profit over the 12-months. Online courses allow self-paced learning with the face-to-face programs offering a personal yet disciplined approach to business improvement. The next Brisbane Acceler8 Academy program will start in July 2017, with the inaugural Sydney and Melbourne programs commencing later this year.

With more than two decades accounting and business experience, Ms Titman is the founder of SME accounting practice Consolid8 – Xero’s 2016 national Accounting Partner of the Year. Acceler8 is anchored around improving financial literacy, a key component in enabling business scale and security. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that more than 60 percent of small businesses cease operation within the first three years of operation.

Speaking on Acceler8’s state roll-out, Ms Titman said: “Expanding the Acceler8 Academy across two more cities is really exciting for myself and the team, as we often have outreach from ladies located in Sydney and Melbourne who desperately need our support. Now we can provide personal and bespoke business support and expertise to female founders in these cities.

“The key difference with the Acceler8 course is that we drill down into the numbers and teach women how to understand their businesses financial information. It’s critical to make informed, strategic decisions based upon a clear understanding of your true financial position, and not by a ‘gut feeling’ or how much money is in your bank account.

“Our mission with Acceler8 is to increase the confidence of women in business and ensure they have a strategic plan for growth. The statistics show that female founders in Australia are growing slowly but steadily, but are still hugely underrepresented.

And it’s crucial for Australia’s economy that we do more to support women at a founder level, as it was recently reported by venture firm First Round that companies with a female founder performed 63 percent better than their investments with an all-male founding team,” added Ms Titman.