The Founder

UBSS Founder - Alan Manly

Alan Manly

Alan is a founding Director and Chief Executive Officer of the GCA group of companies.

As Chief Executive Officer he is responsible for the corporate planning and governance of the group which is includes a Independent Higher Education Institute, Universal Business School Sydney, (UBSS) which offers Business Degree, an Accounting Degree and a Masters of Business Administration.

Alan is a published author, company director and entrepreneur with over thirty years of experience in the technology and education industries. He has twenty years of experience as a Company Director with private, public and NFP companies.

He has been active in representing the education industry and is a former Board member of two education industry peak bodies.

Prior to a career in education Alan had a career in the ICT industry working for a multinational corporation and later third party vendors. He established a start-up software company and a computer college that expanded and morphed into the GCA Group of Companies.

He is the published author of an autobiography that details a ten year legal battle where he represented himself from the local court in North Sydney to final victory in the High Court of Australia: “When There Are Too Many Lawyers - There Is No Justice.” He later released his second book titled "The Unlikely Entrepreneur". For book reviews and media interviews go to

Alan has presented on ‘entrepreneurship and the education industry’ from the view point of a company director and entrepreneur.

Alan is a Justice of the Peace, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management .

Website :





The Entrepreneur

UBSS Founder - Alan Manly

Alan Manly has more than thirty years of experience in the technology and education industries, and this bank of knowledge has culminated in the foundation of Group Colleges Australia (GCA) — a range of training institutions that ten years ago was expanded to include the Universal Business School Sydney (UBSS) MBA program in order to support the next wave of Australia’s entrepreneurs.

Having learned a little bit about teaching and educating people through his work with the computer programming college, he quickly noticed that the majority of students followed a similar pattern when it came to their higher-education journey. He observed three key things: people would typically do a certificate, a diploma, and then a degree; the education industry was staid; and there was no difference between how high-school and university students were treated.

“I concluded that what the country needed was a group of colleges that would address those various issues, rather than just the one. I also thought that a private organisation could treat students as customers, rather than using the traditional student–teacher discourse.”

The idea for GCA was set. Alan subsequently launched the college with high-end technology in place to deal with the administration side of things, thus resulting in no enrolment queues as everything was done online. “We developed one of the more-advanced online student management systems there is, probably the best out of any private college. That was the biggest opportunity I saw: to make technology a differentiator for GCA.”

He quickly recognised that having short queues couldn’t be the only selling point. GCA needed to offer something more than just an efficient and highly automated back office. The front office operations were important too, so GCA needed to have a great product offering. “For several years now, we’ve had the MBA, or Master of Business Administration, through our member company UBSS,” Alan says. “We promote that as an entrepreneur’s MBA, and we’re not the only ones to do that; I’m sure if you look it up, there are dozens of colleges that have the same claim. However, our difference is that UBSS was founded and is managed by an entrepreneur — which is my good self. Other MBA courses are delivered by government-owned entities. If you are to compare an institution run by a government department with one that might have the soul of an entrepreneur, there’s a pretty obvious differentiator there. That’s what we wish to promote at UBSS.”

- CEO Magazine, September 2016

The Author

The Unlikely Entrepreneur - by Alan Manly

This is the unlikely, but true story of a man who had none of the qualities considered necessary for an entrepreneur - no eccentric IT genius - nor money-market marvel - nor the innovator/creator of a new market. Instead, Alan was a hard-working obsessive-compulsive armed only with a ninth-grade education and some rat cunning whose parents' dream was for him to work as a postman.

In this funny, unforgettable and compelling account, he tells the tale of his most unlikely journey - made every mistake - fell into every trap - bought every scam - distracted by the usual suspects: squabbles over money, relationships in ruins, and pursued to the point of financial calamity and personal insanity by a vexatious litigant for ten years. It was only when Alan started ignoring conventional wisdom, and breaking the rules of business, that everything turned around for him.

This is a hands-on white-knuckle ride into that rarest of destinations - the unvarnished truth. If you ever dreamed of creating a business empire from scratch, or wanted to learn something about the world of business, then you must read this extraordinary story.

The Unlikely Entrepreneur ISBN : 978-0-646-96653-3

Previously published books:

  • When there are too many lawyers, there is no justice ISBN : 978-0-9872039-8-4
  • One One Five ISBN : 978-0-9804531-6-4

The Commentator

The CEO Magazine - How to survive your first year in business

Smartcompany - The harsh truth about entrepreneurship: Why everyone won’t be #crushingit

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B&T Magazine The Eight Life Skills You Need To Succeed In Business

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Campus Review

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The CEO Magazine - What I learned from failure from ‘The Gambler’

Business Woman Media How I mastered my elevator pitch

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The CEO Magazine - 5 things that every startup needs to know

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The CEO Magazine - 5 characteristics of true entrepreneurs

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Business Woman Media 7 things to consider to ensure your business idea is profitable

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Modern Business July 2017 How to develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset

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Sky News (Switzer TV)

Peter Switzer - Talking Lifestyle

Laurie Atlas Morning Show - Central Queensland Radio

New Idea (10/07/2017)

Money Magazine Six things every start-up needs to know

PSNewsonline book review The Unlikely Entrepreneur

Wenworth Courier How to build a successful start up: Alan Manly’s The Unlikely Entrepreneur

Radio Interview on Lifestyle Overnight with David Prior (2GB)

BMW Marque Winter 2017 Forearmed is Forewarned

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Dynamic Business Five Things Start-Ups Should Ask Potential Investors before Signing the Dotted Line

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Modern Business 5 things Entrepreneurs should look for in a potential business partner

The CEO Magazine - Alan Manly

CEOWORLD Magazine - 5 Characteristics Of True Entrepreneurs

Think Business Magazine - Getting Ahead

Think Business Magazine - Building business

The Hip Pocket The Yin and Yang of Being a Successful Entrepreneur

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The Hip Pocket 5 Things Startups Should Ask Potential Investors Before Signing the Dotted Line

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Minestyle Magazine September/October 2015...In my defence

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ABC Northern Tasmania interviews alan manly by host Polly McGee

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ABC Tropical North interviews alan manly by host Kim kleidon

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Bay Post Book Giveaway

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NETT Magazine Lessons Learnt

Business Success Radio (BSR) interviews Alan Manly by host Liz O'Dwyer

Business Review Australia 5 Tips To Help Protect Your Business From Fraud

Global Mindset Speaker

Menzies Research Centre national product round table

ACPET National Monday Update Productivity possibilities

Campus Review Productivity possibilities

Business Review Weekly (BRW) A Learning Experience

LiveEnrol Blog Group Colleges Australia (GCA) Institution Spotlight

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Parliament of Australia Current and future directions of Australia's service industries

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Financial Review Group Colleges is taking a different line

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Truckin' Life - Computing Your Business (October 1987)

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