Huge boost to the economy lies in the hands of business leaders

Leadership involves vulnerability

“When businesses, thrive we all thrive. One of the biggest levers Australia can pull to promote business success is to support the capabilities and confidence of all business leaders.”

The Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow report by Deloitte Access Economics has found an opportunity of about $70 billion* exists for Australia by harnessing the potential of business leaders. Translating into 4% increase in the nation’s GDP (PPP-adjusted) and lifting our ranking from 19th to 14th in the world with a $3000 annual windfall for every Australian.**

The report was released on Monday, 29 August as nominations opened for Westpac’s Businesses of Tomorrow program, part of the company’s bicentennial celebration in April 2017. This program will support business potential though recognising 200 Australian businesses, both large and small, which are doing well today, and have a clear vision for tomorrow.

An insight from the analysis of business performance is that businesses’ own decisions and strategies drive their success, not just economic conditions and industry trends.

Mr David Lindberg, Westpac CEO, Business Bank said, “this report highlights the importance of business success. When businesses, thrive we all thrive. One of the biggest levers Australia can pull to promote business success is to support the capabilities and confidence of all business leaders. This confidence can translate into a multi-billion dollar opportunity for the nation’s economy.”

From the report a clear set of characteristics emerged about the profile of successful business leaders, including a focus on connectivity, management and strategy skills, international experience and fit-for-purpose education.

Lindberg continued, “as we transition to a services led economy, it’s vital the 2.1 million active businesses across Australia are supported to succeed in a changing world. Westpac developed Businesses of Tomorrow to help leaders in acquiring the skills they need today to empower them to succeed tomorrow. It’s our hope that finding and fostering these businesses every year will help Australia capitalise on this billion-dollar opportunity.”

“Beyond this, we expect new opportunities to arise from the connections formed between businesses in the program. We know the power of bringing big and small business together; more than half of small businesses receive the majority of their income from other businesses and over a third of large businesses have SMEs as their largest suppliers. We envision the collaboration inspired by the program to produce one of the most significant long term paybacks to the economy,” said Lindberg.

The 200 Businesses of Tomorrow will be chosen based on criteria such as their business purpose, contribution to customers and the community, current strengths and vision for the future. A group of 20 businesses will be selected for international study tours, mentoring and $100,000 in professional services.

To nominate a Business of Tomorrow, please visit

*This is based on academic studies suggesting that 29% of the productivity gap between Australia and the United States (23%) can be explained by management effectiveness, as measured by a range of factors such as goal and target setting, plan execution, talent management and promotion systems. Deloitte Access Economics has calculated that halving this gap could lift productivity by 4%. The main study this is by Nicholas Bloom et al. from 2013.

**GDP per capita ranking based on World Bank purchasing power parity GDP data.

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