We are Barbara Brown.
We’re for growth companies.
Our commitment to growth
Start-ups and mature businesses it seems, get all the love, investment and attention. Growth companies however, make up an enormous proportion of the economy yet struggle to get a dance at the ball.
Fortune identifies the startling statistic that two thirds of the fastest growing companies will ultimately fail. Growth companies however, don’t scare us. They excite and inspire us. With the right attention, strategy and injection of well-timed investment, we know there is nothing a good growth company can’t achieve.
We work with growth companies in two ways:
We are active investors in growth companies with products/services and people we believe in. By ‘active’ we don’t just put money in. We put ourselves in; money, time and heart.
During their retreat, businesses will have access to Stephen Thomas. Stephen is currently an active investor in a number of companies and has more than 40 years experience in creating, growing and exiting incredible businesses.
There are few moments in the journey of an owner/executive that Stephen hasn’t experienced first-hand. He’s lived it, learned from it and he’s intent on sharing it.
Those in the Barbara Brown ‘Growth Retreat’ are free to use all the facilities on offer at our contemporary office space in Newcastle.
Other than Stephen’s time, you’ll have access to a boardroom, desk space, good tech and a commercial grade coffee machine.
The retreat is the ideal environment to get out of your business and instead, get 10,000 feet above it.
We are 5 minutes from the city, 8 minutes from the beach, 10 minutes to Newcastle Golf Club and 20 minutes to the airport.
There is no cost to the Growth Retreat.
Why is the Growth Retreat free?
Stephen has lived the journey as owner of growth companies on a number of occasions. Though he has exited some of these companies with great success, there were many twists, turns and dark days. He has experienced and learned much. He feels genuinely compelled to give back to owners and executives undergoing the same journey.
This isn’t an accelerator or a co-working space and we’re not mentors or even advisors. This is about sharing what we know and what we have with those challenged by growth.
Barbara Brown is actively invested in a number of growth companies in Australia and Asia. Our investment model is different to most. We don’t just throw in money and bark occasional orders from the sideline.
When we invest in a business, we’re all in. We put our money in and we put ourselves in. We get into the trenches with business owners and help them meet the growth challenges that are holding their business back from being great.
Stephen is a bold thinker. He’s a true leader but not in an MBA or academic sense; he understands how to motivate people from experience. Stephen doesn’t care what outsiders think. He is confident in his decisions and always puts his money where his mouth is; a quality that can only be achieved with grey hair. He is a numbers man at heart though with a penchant for balancing accounts.
Stephen treats his colleagues and business associates as family and is often referred to as a second dad. He is happiest when he’s on holidays with his family, lying by the pool with a beer and a meat pie.
Grant is a finance wiz with great attention to detail but he’s also a big thinker. His head for strategy means he always takes the most logical path in decision-making. He believes in people so won’t micro manage either; he truly strives to bring the best out in the next generation of business leaders.
He is a top bloke that has always claimed to know a little bit about a lot of things. Except golf; Grant is a walking golf encyclopaedia.
Linda is a creative thinker and a real go getter; she is a “doer” not a “gunna doer”. Her professionalism, tenacity and commitment mean that once she believes in something, it’s a sure thing. Businesses feel better when Linda is around and her flair for laughter always makes for a better workplace.
Linda has a keen eye for grammar abuse and other communication crimes. When she’s not in the office, you can find her at the beach with her son or at the gym bench pressing more than her body weight.
Barbara “Babs” Brown
Babs is our boxer dog. She keeps stress levels at bay (what is more relaxing than watching a sleeping dog?) and like us, she’s simple and straight forward. We know when she wants to go outside and when she’s hungry.
When she’s not sleeping on the office floor, you can find Babs pulling clothes off the clothesline, chasing cats or jumping into waves at the beach.