Family Enterprise Center

Family enterprises are important engines for the economy around the world. It is estimated that between 70 and 80 percent of all companies worldwide are family owned, managed or controlled. Unfortunately, less than thirty percent make it to the second generation, and only twelve percent make it to the third generation.

Recognizing the need to address the challenges that family owned and managed businesses face, Stetson University created the Family Enterprise Center in 1998. The purpose was and continues to be to help next generation and family members understand and navigate the challenges of family ownership. We strive to have an impact on the sustainability of family-run enterprises at the local, national and international level.

Since its origins, the center has been a leader in the development of next-generation family enterprise owners, leaders and advisors through a holistic approach to education. This approach focuses on understanding and developing the individual, the family enterprise and the family. The center played an integral role in the development of the first major in Family Enterprise, which is now housed in the Department of Management at Stetson University.

The Center serves as a catalyst to help members of family enterprises, especially next generation and their advisors, understand, manage, protect and grow the resources of the family enterprise. This is done through work in the following three areas:

  • Education - The center works in collaboration with the Family Enterprise major to help family enterprise members and their advisors learn and navigate the complexities of family ownership. Our programs help family enterprise stakeholders understand the importance of the interaction between individual, family and business systems and their role in the sustainability of family enterprises. The Center serves as a source for continuing education for individuals that work in or work with family enterprises.

  • Outreach - The center works with family enterprises to build a community to discuss opportunities and challenges that next generation family owners/managers face and how to confidently navigate them. We also engage in the translation of family enterprise scholarship and research to help families use this knowledge in a way that is meaningful for the non-academic audience. We focus on issues faced by next generation members as they become active members of the family enterprise.

  • Research - The center serves as a vehicle for family enterprise majors and faculty to conduct and participate in research initiatives that advance our understanding of family enterprises on a global scale. We participate in the Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) project and the Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Student’s Survey (GUESSS).