Atelier Entrepreneurship and family business

Atelier Entrepreneurship and family business

Entrepreneurial family business management

Responsable de l'atelier

Mahamadou Biga Diambeidou

Understanding family businesses, predominant form of firms in the world

It’s well-known that family businesses are the predominant form of firms in the world, have longevity, incubate new business and create wealth contributing an estimated 70 to 90% of the global GDP. In Europe family enterprises represent 60 to 80% of existing companies, contribute around 50% of GPD and generate more than 60 million jobs in private sector. The family-owned businesses also have strong entrepreneurial activity over time and while they are similar to non-family enterprises in some respects, they are unique in others specifically by the significant influence of the controlling family on the creation, development, mode of growth, and exit of a business. Despite this significant level of entrepreneurial activity over time, family business management remains challenging, it is thus important to understand the unique dynamics challenge and opportunities available to these firms.
This course prepares students (1) to explore their interest in joining family enterprise and (2) to be effective managers and leaders of entrepreneurial family companies. The teaching methods include lecture, guest speakers, case studies, research papers, field research and extensive class discussion.




Compétences acquises

At the end of this workshop students should be able to:

  • explore interest in joining family enterprise as a family member that owns the business, or as supplier, a customer or an employee;
  • develop understanding of the complexity related with the dynamic of family firms, the challenges facing family enterprises and the opportunities available to these firm;
  • enhance ability to be more creative, effective managers and leaders knowing how to navigate, to address problem facing family business and to contribute in the development of sustainable entrepreneurial family firms.


Méthode pédagogique

To support students, give them the opportunity to work as a team and develop them throughout the year, the teaching methods include lecture, guest speakers, case studies, research papers, field research and extensive class discussion. The program is organized around three phases:

  • September - December: Professional Development & Training for (FECC): Lecture, Seminar, Workshop, training. 

  • January: Participation at the UVM Global Family Enterprise Case Competition in Vermont (FECC). The competition materials are shared with the cohort of students related with the program.
  • January-April: Entrepreneurial Family Business Lab: Company visits and field trips,
family Business Interviews, Case development/research activities.


Modalités d'évaluation

Assessment is based on oral, report and participation in class (50%) and on a final exam (50%).



This workshop is limited to 20 high motivated students. The selection is based on the application form and resumes (CV).

Projets étudiants

Previous selected team for the Global Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC) organized by the University of Vermont in USA were awarded with:
• “Most Creative Graduate Team Award for Creative, Innovative, Unique Case Solutions and Delivery” respectively in 2015, 2016 and
• in 2017, one of the our competing team members was awarded with “5th Annual Family Enterprise Case Competition Collaboration Challenge Winner”.

In progress: The current cohort of team (2018) are still working on 4 existent cases of family business from which 2 are local region based and the other at international level. In addition, 2 cases are linked to two of our student family business.