26 June 2024

AUCBG Growth Ramp program for Aboriginal companies 2024 FINAL.jpg
The first cohort of the Growth Ramp program.

A business growth program by the University of South Australia (UniSA) supporting Aboriginal-owned companies to grow and scale has announced five First Nations businesses leading the way as its first cohort.

First Nations companies KML Business Solutions, Ochre Dawn, Pundi Produce, The Cryogenics Group and Yanun Project Services have enrolled in the six-month Growth Ramp program.

The program is delivered by UniSA’s Australian Centre for Business Growth (AUCBG) in partnership with and funded by The Circle First Nations Entrepreneur Hub, South Australia’s Office for Small and Family Business and the Government of Western Australia’s New Industries Fund.

The fully funded program is for Aboriginal business owners, CEOs and managing directors of Aboriginal-owned companies who are looking to scale and sustainably grow their organisation.

Small First Nations companies often face substantial challenges growing from focussed small firms to become fully developed and sustainable growth companies, says AUCBG Director, Growth Expert and Playford Chair of Business Growth, Professor Ryan Williams.

“Led by our Aboriginal Growth Expert Paul Brock, First Nations firms will be able to learn the skills and knowledge they need to grow and scale their companies in our face-to-face Growth Ramp,” Prof Williams says.

Investing in the growth and development of First Nations businesses is central to promoting self-sufficiency and economic empowerment for First Nations people and communities, says The Circle’s Operations Manager Kelly May.

“This Growth Ramp program for First Nations companies creates a powerful peer learning experience, as participants share their business growth journeys and form a lifelong network with other entrepreneurs,” Ms May says.

The Growth Ramp program is a demonstration of the University’s commitment to the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander innovations, says Distinguished Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington AO.

“We’re excited to partner with The Circle to provide Aboriginal business owners in the Growth Ramp program the opportunity to realise their business growth aspirations,” Prof Hughes-Warrington says. “This is in alignment with ambitions articulated in our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan and our Aboriginal Research Strategy.”

Minister for Small and Family Business Andrea Michaels says that building greater diversity within South Australia’s business community is a key focus of South Australia’s Small Business Strategy 2023-2030.

“Each of these First Nations-owned businesses has already forged a promising market opportunity in their respective sectors,” says Minister Michaels. “I am confident that participation in the Growth Ramp program will help these founders lead their teams to the next stage of business success.”

For more information about the Growth Ramp, visit the AUCBG website.

Participating First Nations companies in the Growth Ramp program:

KML Business Solutions provides high-quality accounting, bookkeeping and governance support services to both individuals and businesses, focusing on not-for-profits and Aboriginal organisations.

Ochre Dawn celebrates First Nations art, culture and heritage by providing artwork, corporate fit outs, uniforms, PPE, Reconciliation Action Plans and genuine engagement between First Nations peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

Pundi Produce is a sustainable aquaponic farm that heroes entirely Indigenous Australian botanicals, organically grown Australian native fruit, vegetables and herbs, in their bitters.

The Cryogenics Group is a complete medical and industrial gas delivery maintenance company.

Yanun Project Services is a project services company which specialises in the planning, delivery and control of complex projects and programs across various markets including defence, transport, resources, utilities and social infrastructure.

Photo caption (L>R):

Paul Brock, Growth Expert; Dominic Smith, Pundi Produce; Kedeisha Kartinyeri, KML Business Solutions; David Mallett, Yanun Project Services; Ryan Williams, Growth Expert; Rebecca Wessels, Ochre Dawn.

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 1,450 companies have gone through at least one program offered by the Centre and thousands more have attended webinars and workshops.

Media contact:

Agnes Wan, Kicker Communications E: agnes@kickercomms.com M: 0432 620 256

Other articles you may be interested in