Institute for Family Entrepreneurship

The Institute for Family Entrepreneurship (IFE) is a hub for research, resources, and innovative programming dedicated to entrepreneurial students and their families.

The business, investment, and philanthropic activities of entrepreneurial families are significant drivers of the global economy. Consistent with Babson’s leadership in entrepreneurship education, and unlike any other school, Babson’s commitment to family entrepreneurs recognizes that families, not just family businesses, drive entrepreneurial behavior. This includes the support of multigenerational family businesses, family foundations, startups and acquisitions supported by families, spousal startups, entrepreneurial family members embarking on separate ventures, and many other value-creating family activities.

The Family Entrepreneurship Amplifier Course

One of the most exciting initiatives at the Institute for Family Entrepreneurship is the Family Entrepreneurship Amplifier course, which is dedicated to both students and their families. The Amplifier will engage families during their student’s entire Babson experience, with a key outcome of this immersive experience being that families will foster the growth of their entrepreneurial legacy by co-creating a shared family vision that incorporates the next generation. The program will build their collective capacity for family entrepreneurship by: fostering families as platforms for innovation and growth; creating a network of relationships for family Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® across generations and time; and engaging families as Babson prepares them for their student’s future role in the family enterprise.

A fall 2018 pilot program is currently being offered to undergraduate students whose families are engaged in an entrepreneurial platform such as a business, a family office, or an investment arm. A graduate level course is in development and will be available in the upcoming academic year.

Rising sophomores and juniors who are interested in being part of the next cohort of the Amplifier Course should apply below by March 10th, 2019 for consideration. Please contact contact IFE Executive Director Lauri Union with further questions.


The program has been made possible by a generous gift from Richard J. Snyder ’60, H’94, P’93 ’01 and Marilyn B. Snyder MBA’80, P’93, two dedicated and longstanding members of the Babson College community.

Family Entrepreneurship at Babson

Strengthening family business was the core of Babson’s founding mission in 1919. The College has a long history of educating family entrepreneurs, including: Arthur M. Blank ’63, H’98, co-founder of Home Depot, chairman of The Arthur Blank Family Foundation, and owner of the Atlanta Falcons; C. Dean Metropoulos ’67, MBA’68, founder and CEO of his family business, Metropoulos & Co.; Edsel Ford II ’73, H’00, great-grandson of Henry Ford and member of the board of directors of Ford Motor Company; Ernesto Bertarelli ’89, CEO of Serono—founded by his grandfather in 1906, and co-chair of The Bertarelli Foundation; with his sister, Dona Bertarelli P’20 ’22; and more.

Babson also was the first to embark on a global research study focused on entrepreneurship in families. Through the Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) Project, led by Academic Director Matthew Allen, Babson has convened and collaborated with 35 academic affiliates and 175 scholars to publish 11 books and 120 cases focused on family entrepreneurship across generations.

Now, 50 percent of Babson’s undergraduate students come from a family business.

Critical to the development and launch of Babson’s Institute for Family Entrepreneurship has been the support and enthusiasm of dedicated alumni, parents, and members of Babson’s Board of Overseers: Stephen Martiros ’83, MBA’85, P’21 ’21, Linda Bourn MBA’11, and Sylvia Shepard MBA’09.

Stories of Family Entrepreneurship

A Conversation on Family Entrepreneurship and Business: Babson Connect: Worldwide 2018

The Zamora Family (’98,’00,’03,’07,’12)

Family Entrepreneurship articles from Babson Magazine

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Ties that Bind »

The bond between siblings runs deep. What happens when they decide to go into business together?

Miha (left) and Maja Mikek, co-founders of Celtra, stroll through the Public Garden in Boston.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​To Follow a Dream »

They fell in love in their native Slovenia, two young dreamers who liked to talk of their future plans. Now living half a world away, the Mikeks have built that future: a home in Boston, two young children, and a successful tech business, Celtra, that they co-founded. Running a company with your spouse makes for a full, hectic life, but Miha, MBA’06, and Maja, MBA’07, wouldn’t want it any other way.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Working with Mom »

What happens when your mother also is a business colleague?

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