Professor Jana Matthews

Professor Jana Matthews

Australian Centre for Business Growth, UniSA

Dr Jana Matthews is an international expert on entrepreneurial leadership and business growth. As the Director of the Australian Centre for Business Growth at UniSA, Jana works with CEOs, corporate executives and boards to unlock their company’s growth potential. Jana helps executives develop and execute plans for growth, attract and retain talent, develop products and services that meet customers’ needs, and improve their leadership effectiveness.

Based in Adelaide, AU, Jana is the former Managing Director of the Innovyz START Institute and former Program Director of the ANZ Innovyz START accelerator program. Recruited to the original senior team of the Kauffman Foundation’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Dr. Matthews was the architect of highly successful programs designed to teach CEOs and their executive teams how to lead and manage growth. Additional responsibilities included working with seventeen venture capital companies to design and develop the Kauffman Fellows Program. She was also instrumental in the development of programs for angel investors, technology transfer, and the creation of ecosystems to support entrepreneurs and growth companies.

Dr. Matthews is frequently asked to speak and consult about leading and managing growth, globalisation, innovation, and the roles/responsibilities of leaders of growth companies. She has been a Global Thought Leader for SAP, was a monthly columnist for Dow Jones’, is frequently quoted in Investor Business Daily, Inc. magazine, The Australian, AFR, Boss, BRW and Smart Company, and was named one of 18 Women Business Gurus in the world – the only one focused on entrepreneurial leadership and business growth.

In 2004, the New Zealand government asked her to develop a program to teach companies to grow.  In 2005 and 2006, she was Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Auckland’s Graduate School of Enterprise and did one of her Leader Forums in Adelaide. In 2005, she was invited by the US Department of Commerce and the People’s Republic of China to speak about company growth in Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an. She was invited back to teach in the international MBA program at Peking University.  In 2008, while Global Thought Leader for SAP, she spoke in Orlando, Delhi, Mumbai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Singapore and Sydney.  In 2009 she was Keynote speaker at an international forum on entrepreneurship in Kuala Lumpur. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Innovate SA engaged her to teach sessions on the role of Boards and executive teams in growth companies, as part of the Venture Attraction Program.

Professor Matthews has a B.A. from Earlham College, spent her junior year abroad at the University of London, did graduate work at Yale University, and received a doctorate in management and planning from Harvard University.