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 and has a passion for regional Australia. With over 20 years in business growth education and strategy, Tara’s skills and experience in supporting adult learning and knowledge application has been honed by working on key industry projects.
With over 20 years experience in business growth education and strategy, Tara’s skills and experience in supporting adult learning and knowledge application has been developed by being one of the key team members that established the Executive Programs for QUTs Graduate School of Business and working with Monash, La Trobe and other global educators (vocational, workplace and tertiary). In that time, Tara has founded three training organisations in Safety Leadership (Registered Training Organisation), Neuroscience Leadership and now Business Growth Education. Tara has gained unique skills in building trust and peer learning in online programs as a program facilitator with USQ’s ground breaking Wire Program.
Tara, tell us about the Growth Education Institute (groei) and how this all came about?
Groei was founded out of a merger between myself (Tara Jacobsen) and Amanda Cole. Two women who have worked with small business for over 20 years. Amanda in business strategy and myself in education. What we discovered was that there was a big gap in how small businesses learnt business knowledge and how they applied it. groei is Australia’s first ever virtual multi-level business education and mentoring solution, that is designed to help regional small businesses grow sustainably. Small business is the engine of our economy. By supporting the development of small businesses both in metro and regional areas we support economic growth. groei programs are designed to enable and maximise participation and engagement of a diverse range of businesses particularly in regional areas. Our vision is to build flourishing small businesses that create ripples of success in their communities….more jobs…happier families…stronger businesses… stronger communities.
What made you decide to work in this space, and what sort of events/programs do you deliver?
groei provides anyone who has a business idea, side hustle, solo, micro or small business a learning environment that teaches the “what” but more importantly, the “how to”. In all of groei’s programs you are guided through a process for your business that is designed to give you the skills, networks and experience when you need it. We make growing your business easy with the right information at the right time and we understand the unique challenges and pressures of growing your business in regional areas because we have been there ourselves.groei programs are on demand, guided, actionable, personal and designed to support all small business owners through 3 levels of support – a peer group, a coach and a network. We combine applied adult learning approaches with robust small business best practice.
Why is business building and professional development so important?
As business makes more money and is in operation over a longer period of time, it gets more complex. As complexity increases it gets harder to make the right decisions in our business. Often innovation and growth plans require many years to implement and a good strategy is like a map that helps us navigate this complexity and change in business. In our experience those that have survived the changes that COVID has bought have been ones that have a strategy and use it to navigate that change. On the other side of this being really clear on our founder and businesses purpose and values and how we navigate change is a key driver for success
Can you share 3 tips as to how people can improve their businesses or take to the next level?
Develop a measurable strategy
Learn how to learn
Focus on the humans in you business (including yourself)
And what’s next on the agenda for Tara Jacobsen?
It’s my oldest child’s last year at school so im looking forward to supporting him through that and starting a research (maybe PhD) project around the work we do in regional areas with peer mentoring and how that supports regional female businesses to create sustainable businesses and that then changes the economic sustainability of the region.
Favourite book that you have read and why?
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius’ I read it regularly it reminds me that life is complex and change is a given and finding stillness in that is important and an ongoing practice.
What do you to relax?
Solo Hiking .. I love getting out into the bush and talking to the trees (they don’t answer back)
Who would you most like to meet and why?
It’s fortunate that those incredible humans in modern history often write a book or produce a podcast so you can get an insight into their minds through this and learn from them (my current favourite is Richard Fidler), however from incredible people from history you cannot. There are just too many men and women from history that I want to meet but it’s the most obscure women and men of history that haven’t been celebrated, where people don’t know their story that most interest me. Like Alice Anderson, Melbourne’s first female mechanic or Harriett Tubman, the Queen of the Underground Railroad who both are examples of courage, strength and autonomy.
To find out more about Tara and groei head to: