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Are Australian businesses reaching their full potential?

Across Australia, significant investment has occurred in supporting more people to start their own businesses. The next stage in supporting entrepreneurship is to understand the conditions needed by owners to scale their business.

As part of this collaborative research project led by the Advisory Board Centre, we are seeking to explore the barriers to scaling a business for founders and owners. To capitalise on the investment made to encourage entrepreneurship and significantly advance the economic participation and impact of Australian businesses, we need to uncover and understand what works and where there may be barriers.

Supporting Women in Business

Specific focus within this research is placed on identifying the barriers and success strategies for Female led businesses.  Women do no lack ability or ambition.  However, indications show the scale up stage for Female Founders can be problematic and the barriers they face may be different.    To capitalise on the investment made to encourage women in business and significantly advance the economic participation and opportunity for women, we are seeking to uncover and understand the barriers to scale for Female Founders.

Research coordinator and Advisory Board Centre Female Founders Program Leader, Jan Easton, said that while growth is not always the primary driver for business owners, it is important to create an environment that supports owners to navigate and overcome growth barriers.

“Scaling a business is essentially ensuring that business reaches its full potential.  Our preliminary research has indicated that there is a gap between how and when female led businesses achieve scale as compared to the wider business sector.  This needs to be explored more thoroughly to create an economic environment where more businesses can achieve their full potential. ”

Research Partners

The Advisory Board Centre is dedicated to evidence-based approaches to clearly identifying the problem and discovery of approaches that will unlock value.  The research program is designed to understand and uncover trends and opportunities to unlock the “scale factor’ for business owners.

This national research project is proudly supported by Australian Government Landing Pads, Queensland Government Advancing Women in Business Initiative, Advance Queensland and Mullins Lawyers.

Who Should Participate

To truly understand the challenges and opportunities facing Australian businesses we are seeking feedback from business owners, executives, directors and advisors via our online survey.


[Please note: this survey has now closed]


We are seeking representation in the data from:

  • Business Owners on a growth path
  • Women in Business
  • Rural, Regional, Remote Businesses
  • Business Owners/ Executives who have achieved scale/ significant growth in their business

The full research report will be publicly available in March 2020.

For more information: https://www.advisoryboardcentre.com/barriers-to-scale-research/

Media Enquiries

Jan Easton, COO Advisory Board Centre


About Author:

Jan Easton
Jan Easton is a founding member of the Advisory Board Centre and Chief Operating Officer for the global network. She is a Certified Chair and leads the Women on Boards and Female Founders programs.