Academic Alliance

Successful Transgenerational EntrepreneurSHIP Practices (STEP)

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 visionary institutions that founded the project include ESADE (Spain), HEC (France), Jönköping International Business School (Sweden), Universita Bocconi (Italy), Universitat St. Gallen (Switzerland), Universitat Witten/Herdecke (Germany), and Babson College (USA).

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 pass on the entrepreneurial mindsets and capabilities that enable them to create new streams of wealth across many generations—not just pass a business from one generation to the next. We refer to this practice as transgenerational entrepreneurship.

Leading academics and business families from around the world have joined as partners of the STEP Project to explore Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices and create a stream of powerful practices and cases that empower families to build their entrepreneurial legacies.

The STEP Project for Family Enterprising is the first global research study to focus on entrepreneurship in business families.

The STEP Project for family enterprising conducts leading edge research, generates applied entrepreneurship practices, and provides a shared learning environment. The project also examines how families generate new economic activity through venturing, renewal, and generation.

Scholars and practitioners generally focus on assisting families in simply passing a business over to the next generation. In doing so they overlook the greater challenges business families face -- passing on the entrepreneurial mindset and capabilities that enable them to sustain and create new streams of wealth across many generations.
The STEP Project addresses this challenge by mobilizing entrepreneurship and family business academics along with leading multigenerational family businesses to explore and identify Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices. The unique Summit model is the first of its kind to bring together academics and families to move discoveries from research to practice and to discuss key benchmarking indicators.

The STEP Project is designed to:
•Conduct leading edge research on the entrepreneurial capabilities and contribution of business families worldwide
•Generate an applied stream of entrepreneurship powerful practices that lead to family business continuity and growth
•Provide a shared learning environment where researchers and professors interact with family business leaders to generate solutions that have immediate impact

Creating Value Through New Insights
To be a leading global family business research project with an international reputation for the insights from our research, that are of relevance to researchers and family business stakeholders.
To ensure the continuity and growth of family businesses and groups by assisting them in passing on the mindset and capabilities for value creation across many generations
And establishing a series of programs that bring family leaders together with academics for dialogue and discovery around the research findings and application.

Our Mission
Our core mission is to collaboratively research transgenerational entrepreneurship by:
Producing highly relevant, applied research which makes a tangible difference in the stakeholders of families in business.
Developing a community of researchers who can be trusted to provide rigorous and valuable insights into issues associated with transgenerational entrepreneurship.


Asia Pacific

Babson College launched the STEP Project in Asia Pacific in the summer of 2007 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The following schools make up the Asia Pacific STEP Affiliates:

Bangkok University, Bangkok, Thailand

Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai, P.R. China

Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India

National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Singapore Management University, Singapore​

University Tun Abdul Razak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, P.R. China​