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Family Entrepreneurship: Growing the Family Business Across Generations

Program Dates and Fees:
April 8-10, 2013
$4,200 *

* Includes program materials, lunch, and break station refreshments.
A 10% discount is offered to three or more participants from a single family business.


Program Overview

Families are the dominant form of business organization worldwide—they play a leading role in the social and economic wealth creation of communities and countries. To achieve continued growth and continuity, they must make strategic use of the entrepreneurial mindsets and capabilities that enable them to grow and create value. “Family Entrepreneurship: Growing the Family Business Across Generations” is a new Babson Executive Education offering that will explore key concepts of growth for family businesses.

The program’s content is built upon Babson’s vast experience with family businesses. Family Businesses have been at the core of Babson College from its foundation. The institute which later became Babson College was founded in order to educate the sons of businessmen to take over their fathers’ businesses.

Program Objectives

“Family Entrepreneurship: Growing the Family Business Across Generations” is designed to help families understand how entrepreneurship works in a family business context and how to grow their businesses through entrepreneurial leadership. The primary goal of the program is to prepare family businesses to create new streams of wealth across many generations—not just pass a business from one generation to the next. The program focuses on growth as the primary goal of family entrepreneurship and explores key issues as they pertain to both individuals and teams within family organizations.


This program will explore key concepts of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial leadership for family businesses through a combination of action learning projects, lectures, and case studies. As with all Babson Executive Education programs, the focus will be on developing new strategies that can be acted upon immediately upon completion of the learning.

Program topic areas will include:

Accessing the talents and resources of the entire family for growth

  • Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® - Babson’s method of entrepreneurial leadership, which starts with action and proceeds with quick reflection and recalibration as necessary – a perfect method for succeeding amidst uncertain market conditions.
  • Recognizing the strengths that family businesses have when it comes to entrepreneurship and how to leverage these strengths for success
  • Human capital resources, including social and relational capital

Advising and growth in the family business

  • How to leverage or use advisors to grow your business
  • Strategies for using advisors to help family enterprises to grow and overcome constraints 
  • Dispelling the myths about advising

Family entrepreneurship within and across generations

  • Taking advantage of entrepreneurial ideas from the younger generation, while respecting the older generation
  • Creating an effective succession plan that promotes family entrepreneurship
  • Conflict management techniques and approaches

Additionally, the program will feature “From Start Up to the Next Generation”, a unique case discussion featuring a visiting executive to reinforce the concepts presented in the program. There also will be focused breakthrough sessions on a few of today’s pressing business issues including, social media, creative financing, and globalization. The objective of these sessions is to provide practical knowledge that family business leaders can walk away with and immediately use.

Participant Mix

This program is designed for leaders of family enterprises, as well as non-managing stakeholders of these businesses. Single family members are invited to participate, although participants are strongly encouraged to register as teams, in order to extend the impact of the learning experience across the family enterprise. Teams can include multi-generational family business members and non-family members who are involved in the business.

Program Faculty

Matt Allen, faculty director; Candy Brush; Les Charm; and Dita Sharma

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Faculty Director Matt Allen discusses the program.
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Embracing emotions and relationships that typify a family business in classroom discussion enhances learning for the unique family business student

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Institute for Family Entrepreneurship Research

Babson’s efforts in family business teaching and research are housed under this institute. This includes Babson’s founding membership in the "Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices" (STEP) project, a global applied research initiative that explores the entrepreneurial process within business families and generates solutions that have immediate application for family leaders.

STEP has evolved into a combined effort of 41 universities worldwide working together to understand transgenerational family business practices. The program’s curriculum draws from Babson’s experience in the area of family business to help participants understand what entrepreneurship looks like in a family business and to provide the tools and strategies to enable leaders to apply the concepts to their own family businesses.