About Us

The Why

The ILF was established in 2009 when the South Australian economy was not in good health. Relying heavily upon Commonwealth funding South Australia was often regarded as medicant by those from outside. The concept of the ILF founding fathers was that the $8m corpus at commencement should be put to use to fix the economy by generating employment opportunity, creating more wealth and re-establishing a head office mentality in South Australia. Their analysis indicated the missing ingredient for economic success was a lack of courageous quality management at the top CEO and MD level in businesses. They decided that the best way to overcome this issue would be to encourage leaders to lift their skills and potential leaders to accelerate their development though study. The formula decided upon was to offer to those who satisfied the criteria worthwhile grants sufficient to motivate them to “go to school” but also to ensure they had to top up the grant with a sum sufficient to act as an incentive to get value for money from any course they might choose. To ensure that the grants would generate real growth in SA rather than simply shift the employment “deck chairs” applicants would need to demonstrate that they were in a “value adding industry”. To ensure the value was longer lasting than the initial course the ILF had always intended to establish an alumni organisation and did so in 2013 when there were sufficient Scholars to make it viable. It is called a “Scholars Network” because ILF Scholars have studied many course at many business schools and such a group does not fit within the dictionary definition of the word alumni. The Network has been instrumental in encouraging the best grant applicants to come forward, in providing up to date information to ensure that the businesses of Scholars can thrive and grow to achieve the underlying economic objectives of the ILF and more recently has seen some of the more successful Scholars donate back to the ILF.

This combination of decisions and actions has allowed Scholars to generate an additional 3,490 additional jobs in South Australia at an average grant dollar cost of $650 per job and a further 1,650 elsewhere as a bonus. This compares with 142 SA jobs at an average cost of $7,600 in 2016. These costs are low by any standard and have been very favourably compared with worldwide benchmarks.

Our Purpose: We Provide Opportunities for Talented People

The Industry Leaders Fund purpose is to grow the value adding sector of the South Australian economy by developing the pool of courageous quality management talent at the top CEO and MD level in businesses.  This will genuinely expand the state’s economic base by generating employment growth, creating wealth and establishing a strong head office mentality in South Australia.  This is achieved by offering grants to existing and emerging leaders to lift their skills and to accelerate their development through study.  The Industry Leaders Fund also supports continuous improvement in these leaders by offering ongoing professional development opportunities and training seminars and encouraging them to share their knowledge, experience and ideas.

We firmly believe in the importance of learning for the common good and are committed to supporting those who share this belief.

Please visit Are you eligible for a grant for more information.

Industry Leaders
Fund Vision

To maximise the economic contribution to South Australia as outlined in the purpose while prudently managing total cash flows and the investment portfolio to ensure the fund value keeps pace with inflation over the long term, so the fund’s ability to operate in perpetuity is safeguarded.