The Melbourne Business School (MBS) will drive change and improvements to management practices in small to medium businesses under the Federal Government’s Leadership 21 program.


The program is part of the Government's Clean 21 initiative, which is helping to give Australian businesses a stronger, cleaner and greener future.


Announcing that Mt Eliza Executive Education - an arm of the Melbourne Business School - will deliver the Leadership 21 program, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said good leadership would help Australian firms transform their production processes and retain high-skilled workers so they can survive and thrive in a low-carbon economy.


"We train our athletes so they can compete with the world's best. And I believe we must train our managers so our businesses can compete internationally and rise to the challenges of a changing climate," Senator Carr said.


"As a leadership development course, Leadership 21 will encourage, motivate and mentor business owners and senior managers of small and medium businesses, equipping them with the skills they require to implement business changes that will help them lower their carbon emissions and compete in global supply chains," Senator Carr said.


"The course will be responsive to the needs of participants by taking into account individual business needs. Using the business review, carried out by highly skilled and experienced Business Advisers under the Government's Enterprise Connect program, participants will be able to frame their engagement in the Leadership 21 course around their individual business challenges.


"By combining management theory with practical implementation projects, we are equipping our small and medium business managers with the skills and knowledge they need to lead their companies to a prosperous and productive future."


The course will be delivered over a nine month period. During that time, participants will be coached and mentored by key business and leadership experts. Mt Eliza has is one of Australia's leading providers of professional development training. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 it was recognised as by the Financial Times as the number one provider of executive education in Asia Pacific.


Professor Paul Kirkbride, Deputy Dean of Mt Eliza Executive Education said he was excited about contributing to Leadership 21.


"Leadership 21 is the most comprehensive and highest quality professional development program ever undertaken for Australian firms," he said.