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Family business roundup: Universities to support family-run companies

By Attracta Mooney

Two universities in Northern Ireland and England have lent their support to family businesses, with both announcing programmes to help family-run firms.

In Northern Ireland, a new initiative by Queen’s University Management School and business advisory firm BDO will carry out research into issues that create or prevent the success of family-controlled firms.

In a statement, the minister for enterprise, trade and investment, Arlene Foster, gave her backing to the scheme. “The family business sector plays a vital role in the success of our local economy, as it is estimated that approximately 75% of all businesses in Northern Ireland are family run,” she said.

Professor Richard Harrison, director of the Leadership Institute at Queen’s, added: “A strong and competitive family business sector is important for the performance of the regional economy and we look forward to making a contribution through this partnership to that challenge.”

In England, the University of York’s Management School, with the International Centre for Families in Business, also announced plans to work with family businesses.

A series of workshops will be take place from 26 April at the university, which will look at opportunities for next-gens in family businesses.

Only 30% of family firms make it to the second generation, said ICFIB chief executive Dani Saveker. “It is imperative to find ways of supporting and developing the skills within the next generation.” 

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