Academic Affiliates

The STEP Project is a corporate entrepreneurship research study conducted by a global consortium of academic institutions that are committed to generating leading edge knowledge on entrepreneurship in the context of business families.

Academics participating in the STEP Project have a strong interest in creating a practical nexus between entrepreneurship theory and family-influenced wealth creation, and their institutions have committed to exploring research and practice solutions for how families build their entrepreneurial legacies through growth.

The STEP Project operates in four regions of the world – Europe, Latin America, Asia, and North America. Each region utilizes the same model, but organizes its research collection and dissemination as independent groups.

Babson College serves as the global leader and co-chair for each of the four research regions. The European STEP Project was launched in July 2005 is currently running in all four regions.


The STEP Project is pleased to collaborate with the following world class organizations in the family firm arena:

European Institute for Advance Studies in Management
European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management 

EIASM hosts an annual workshop on family firms management research which has a significant impact on advancing the field. 

Family Enterprise Research Conference

​Family Enterprise Research Conference 
​FERC aims to enable scholars to design and develop research projects that are theoretically sound, empirically rigorous, and of practical significance and applicability to family firms.

​Family Firm Institute
Family Firm InstituteFFI is an international professional membership organization dedicated to providing interdisciplinary education and networking opportunities for family business advisors, consultants, educators and researchers and to raising public awareness about trends and developments in the family business field.

International Family Enterprise Research Academy
International Family Enterprise Research Academy​IFERA is geared towards advancing family business research, theory and practice through enhanced collaboration and accelerated learning based on world best practice. Its vision is to be the driving force of an international network that ensures that family business, as a multi-disciplinary field, becomes a leading field in business research.​​​

 Research Model

The research approach blends in-depth case studies, diagnostic surveys, group dialogue between researchers and families, and peer benchmarking among families.​​

It is intended to answer the questions:​​

  • How do business families generate and sustain entrepreneurial performance across generations?
  • What role does the family have in enabling or constraining these performance outcomes?