Blueprint to spur talks on business growth

November 20, 2023 BY

KPMG Geelong associate director Matthew Fletcher (third from right) helps launch the Geelong Economic Blueprint 2023-24 with (L-R) Tennille Bradley Ow from the City of Greater Geelong, Geelong Chamber of Commerce CEO Jeremy Crawford, Australian Steel Association CEO David Buchanan, Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan, and Geelong Manufacturing CEO Jennifer Conley Photo: LINKEDIN/MATTHEW FLETCHER

KMPG hopes its new Geelong Economic Blueprint 2023-24 will spark a conversation about business growth instead of economic growth across the Geelong region.

Released on October 31, the blueprint is a snapshot of the opportunities for local business and the local community.

KPMG Geelong regional leader Paul Robson said the document aligned closely with the worldwide professional service firm’s three purposes behind setting up an office in Geelong: bringing global knowledge and expertise to the region, helping clients solve problems and grow their business, and creating capital city careers in Geelong.

“If you look through the content of the blueprint, there’s a big element in there about how do we help business growth – not economic growth – in scaling up, so delivering the blueprint ticks those three key reasons.

“It’s about helping business understand how they can start to turn to grow and scale, and what that landscape looks like in Geelong, and ultimately there’ll be capital city careers made in Geelong.”

As well as demographic and economic research, the blueprint is based on 56 interviews with local business and community leaders.

KPMG Geelong associate director Matthew Fletcher said the intent of the interviews was to get a cross-section from across the Geelong region.

“We tried to make sure we got a picture from everywhere.

“There’s 56 – to get a proper picture, you probably need 560, but we think it gave us a fairly good idea at size, at industry… we tried to get the biggest spread we could.”

He said one of the most interesting parts of the final blueprint was the subject of business growth.

“We probably don’t talk about growing business enough as a corporate entity, if I can put it from a Geelong perspective.

“That’s kind of at the core of what we do as a firm at KPMG.

“But the exciting thing was a lot of people were saying ‘This is a good conversation to have’.”

Mr Robson said the blueprint’s five insights and five measures of success were not prescriptive but highlighted the importance of a collective approach to drive business and economic growth.

“If you look at the number 38 per cent of respondents said collaborative, then stepping down, it’s the council, then private business/enterprise, state government, industry bodies.

“So it’s all about collaboration, which will continue a conversation in the business community about how we continue to collaborate about business growth.”