I was fortunate enough to apply, and be granted an Industry Leaders Fund Grant (ILF) in 2013. The purpose of the ILF is to provide education and training support for South Australian leaders, providing the skills and resources we need to grow local business and our employment base here in SA.
At the time, I had launched my food processing business and after four years in, I realised the challenges keep growing as you grow, and I needed the opportunity to see things from another point of view. I selected and completed the Owner/Manager program in 2014, as I felt the learning outcomes were suitable for the time.
From the outset, I appreciated the networking with my peers in the group. Whilst the industries and people where varied, we all had many common challenges and we could both be mentored and a supporter to each throughout the nine month duration of the course.
As each module was delivered, a different aspect of viewing our business and its environment emerged. The Owner/Manager course had a fairly broad scope. It covered a whole spectrum of topics from business strategy right through to difficult conversations that we have, regardless of whether you own your own business or not. Overall, I found the course inspiring. One notable activity was the multifactor feedback where feedback was analysed from all stakeholders of the business, including suppliers and customers. As I do not formally report to a board of directors, I found this activity invaluable.
Today, with national distribution established in 2016, Gelista is now one of the largest gelato and ice-cream manufacturers in Metropolitan Adelaide. We have quadrupled our output since, and tripled our workforce during the five years since completing the program. I am very appreciative of the opportunity offered by the ILF to undertake the program and I would encourage any aspiring business leader to consider applying, if you consider your continued professional development will contribute to the growth of your company and the economic prosperity of SA.