Rosemary Howard

Not the big end of town, but not small either, Australia’s  mid-market (defined by companies with revenue of $10-$250mil)  makes up just 1.4 percent of Australian businesses yet contributes more than a third (37 per cent) of Australian business revenue, contributes 21 per cent of deposit and borrowings and employs one in five Australians (23 per cent).

These businesses contribute around $425 billion in added value, compared to large and small businesses – which contribute $393 billion and $373 billion respectively.

The mid-market is the fastest growing sector in our economy, yet it often flies under the radar. By focusing on this sector, we can support its growth — not only here but into Asia, which is where the growth lies.

Recently, the Australian Government released the “Asian Century” whitepaper which addresses how to ride the wave of Asia’s continual growth. This is about government investment in education, infrastructure, workplace change and assisting companies find bigger markets for 2020+.

For mid-market businesses in Australia, the Asian Century whitepaper signifies the need to network and be open to the world, particularly to Asia. Geographically, Australia is intrinsically linked to Asia and we are in an enviable position given the tremendous growth of China and the Asian tigers.

Australia is now at a very important point in its history.  The world is changing dramatically and a strong Asia focus is required.  This applies at the general economic and society level as well as at the company level.

Let’s have confidence and stay positive.

Leadership. Innovation. Collaboration. Openness. Investment.

These areas are critical to the future of Australia’s mid-market sector.

Rosemary Howard is the Executive Director and Conjoint Professor of Executive Education at the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Rosemary has over 30 years experience in senior management with executive leadership positions in public and private sectors. Prior to joining AGSM, Rosemary was CEO at TelstraClear and inaugural Managing Director, Telstra Wholesale. Previously, Rosemary was Executive Director, NSW Department of State Government.

Rosemary holds a Bachelor of Science from Sydney University, Masters of Science and Society from UNSW and Graduate Diploma of Management from AGSM.  In 2003, she was awarded an Australian Government Centenary Medal for ‘Service to Australian Society in Business Leadership’.