About Us

Our Story

Amanda and Tara met at a networking function as members of peer mentoring organisation Executive Roundtable (ER) in 2002. As children of small business owner’s they were passionate about learning and growing small business, knowing the freedom and stress small business can add to a family.

Tara continued to build a career as a learning and development specialist working with QUT, La Trobe and other global educators. She then started her own training organisation Managerial Resources Training with offices in Port Hedland and Gladstone, and then founding Neuresource Group a leadership training organisation using the principles of neuroscience applied to leadership. As chairman of Port Hedland small business centre and board member of the Pilbara regional economic development board we galvanised community voices to create an identity for the region. In all her business living and working in regional communities, Tara has a passion for supporting creating collaborative communities by working together for growth.

 Amanda married the owner, Brian Cole of ER in 2002 and then when he became ill with terminal brain cancer she sold the business to peer mentoring organisation The Executive Connection (TEC) in 2006. She since worked with many small business owners in her TEC peer group and facilitating strategic growth with SME clients with Spark Consultants.

Our two founders have collectively over 35 year’s experience in business growth education and strategy.

Tara is an adult learning specialist having been one of the key team members that established the Executive Programs for QUTs Graduate School of Business and founded three training organisations in Mine Safety Leadership, Neuroscience Leadership and now groei.

Tara is also practiced in online peer group learning as a program facilitator with USQ’s Wire Program. Amanda is an expert business strategic growth and in peer mentoring programs having won numerous awards with TEC for Chair excellence and with over 13 years experience is the first and longest serving female TEC Chair.

Together they founded groei in 2019 to enable the sustainable growth of small businesses across Australia and NZ.

Our Core

Our Purpose

We provide on-demand access to practical and current learning content to facilitate growing sustainable businesses and communities.

Our goal is to reduce the failure rate for businesses and increase the employment and economic sustainability wherever we run a program.

As educators we also want to provide a support network to ensure learning is not entertainment but can be easily applied and demonstrate a return on investment for our participants.

Our Values

  • All for One

    We are stronger together as partners, businesses, peer groups and communities. We have each other’s back and will challenge ourselves to be our genuine selves so we can achieve our goals individually and collectively. Have a base for reality for shared experience. Make the load the lighter .. take the approach of give first… how can we help.

  • Keep it simple

    Our lives are complex enough. Make every groei experience curated, relevant and actionable. Simple language, logical steps, the right information at the right time… no bullshit keep it real.

  • Find the fun and maintain the balance

    Life is too short to forget to enjoy ourselves. Enable the space for people to have fun. Acknowledge the celebration for shared lived experience. Create and maintain the routine to enable our goals. Big rocks in first. Laugh, connect and share the story.

  • Lifelong learning

    Always a new version of ourselves to become and another challenge to overcome. Creating underpinning knowledge to support embedding of content to support you to learn how to learn.

Meet the Team

Meet Tara Jacobsen

Meet Tara Jacobsen

Program Director

Tara Jacobsen is an experienced entrepreneur, business strategist, facilitator, and collective leadership specialist. She loves getting off the beaten track and exploring new people and cultures. With over 20 years experience in applying strategy to corporate learning and development, education, business growth and organisational development. As much at ease with start-ups and regional entrepreneurship as corporate enterprises, Tara’s experience as an expert in human and social capital development is an invaluable resource in the development of groei programs.

Tara is currently undertaking a PhD in Innovation and Strategy of regional entrepreneurship. She lectures in Corporate Entrepreneurship at University of Sunshine Coast in the MBA program and is also the co -producer of a successful podcast Project Leap sharing stories and advocating for rural and regional entrepreneurs.

 Likes: Hiking a mountain, travelling on unmarked tracks finding new paths, growing things, hearing stories of success about rural regional businesses and working with them for growth.


Meet Amanda Cole

Meet Amanda Cole

Commercial Director

With over twenty years of working closely with entrepreneurs from business startup to maturity, Amanda Cole has seen her clients win awards, build strong and sustainable businesses and attain significant personal goals. As a leadership coach and strategy facilitator with Spark Consultants she has worked closely with business leaders to enable them with the tools to grow their business. Amanda is also Non-executive company director, and currently Chairman of four private company advisory boards including Shadforths Civil Construction and Sunfresh Linen.

She is also Australia’s first and longest serving female Chairman for leading peer mentoring organisation The Executive Connection. Amanda is the recipient of the Centenary Medal for business and winner of the Telstra Young Business Woman’s Award (Qld) in 2000.

Likes: Wandering in the bush, skiing black runs, cooking for the family, drawing birds, facilitating strategy

Our Partners

As a membership organisation or a local government agency you have a vested interest in building entrepreneurial capital in your local area. You are on a mission to support and network small businesses to help them be more sustainable. 

Sustainable small business = jobs and growth = strong economy

You have influence over a large number of businesses from micro to medium sized and your network is there waiting to engage. Whether you want to deliver the program under your brand or partner with us, our missions are aligned. 

Our goal is to reduce the failure rate for businesses and increase the employment rate wherever we run a course. As educators we also want to provide a support network to ensue learning is not entertainment but can be easily applied and demonstrate a return on investment for our participants. 

We are proud to partner with the following organisations: 

We are proud to work with the following businesses 

Share Your Expertise

Are you looking to get your ideas to a broader market?

Are you passionate about helping small business owners be more effective?

Can you present complex ideas in a simple and easy to follow way?

 Our learning team are always looking for inspiring experts who can deliver their content in an easy to understand video format for to provide learning and insight to a small business owner.

Join Us

We are looking for 50 regional leaders to be the local face of groei in your region. You will share our passion for growing economic sustainable local communities through supporting the growth of small businesses.

Current regions we are looking to develop collaborative connections with for our first program launch are:

Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Redlands, Ipswich, Mackay/Whitsundays, North Rivers NSW

We are in discussion with licensees for Rockhampton/Yeppoon, Gladstone/Bundaberg/Gympie, SW Perth/Margaret River, Canberra and Northern NZ.

What we look for?

  • You will have expertise in building community, facilitating, teaching and encouraging peer learning and may have the skills to do this virtually.
  • We would also expect you to have a strong regional network, industry presence and have lived experience of running and owning small business.
  • Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about joining the community or join our LinkedIn group for regional facilitators.
WordPress Image Lightbox