IFE Research

Research at the Institute for Family Entrepreneurship

Our research efforts are carried out by renowned academics continually working to explore the influence of entrepreneurial legacies within families, as well as the impact of family entrepreneurs on the global economy.

The STEP Project

STEP logo

The STEP Project (Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices) is the first ongoing global research study focused on entrepreneurship in business families. Founded in 2005 by Babson College in collaboration with six academic affiliates in Europe, the STEP Project is a global applied research initiative that explores the entrepreneurial process within business families, and generates solutions that have immediate application for family leaders. The STEP Project studies the entrepreneurial activities of family enterprises over generations.

The STEP Project research network has grown to include more than 40 colleges and universities, leading academics, business families, and hundreds of researchers from around the world, helping to create a stream of best practices and research that empower families to build their entrepreneurial legacies. Babson is the convener of the project. The STEP project academic affiliates and scholars, including Babson College, have surveyed over 2400 business families and written 132 cases resulting in publications of 26 journal articles and 18 books and practitioner booklets focused on family entrepreneurship across generations. 

Professor Candida Brush, F.W. Olin Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, Vice Provost of Global Entrepreneurial Leadership and Faculty Research Director for the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, has been involved in the STEP Project for Family Enterprising since its inception at Babson in 2005. She is an avid supporter of the STEP project and has participated in and contributed to many of the STEP events and STEP research. Currently, Professor Brush, together with Professor William B. Gartner, Bertarelli Foundation Distinguished Professor of Family Entrepreneurship, serve as Babson STEP Board Members. 

Professor Brush oversees all the Institutes and Centers at Babson, which includes the Institute for Family Entrepreneurship (IFE) and its research (STEP Project). In this capacity, she works closely with many of the STEP research committees and continues to sit on the STEP Executive Leadership team which also includes the Academic Director, Board Chair, and Assistant Director. 

For further information please email the STEP Project.

STEP Report

STEP 2019 Global Family Business Survey

New insights on changing demographics on family firms’ succession and governance from 1800+ surveys contributed to the STEP Survey.

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