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The value of family businesses to be highlighted at Leeds event


Leeds Beckett University will host an event to highlight the vital role of family businesses in local, regional and national economies on Monday 22 May.

The Rose Bowl

The ‘Family Businesses as an Engine of Growth’ workshop, which will be held at the University’s city centre Rose Bowl building, from 4-7pm, will offer attendees the opportunity to discuss the role of family businesses in the economy, the challenges they face and the opportunities they can realise.

With family businesses providing more than nine million jobs and generating over £1 trillion in the UK economy, the workshop will discuss many household names including Warburton’s, Betty’s and JCB who are also family businesses.

Speaking at the event will be Leo-Paul Dana, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand; Dr Claire Seaman, Reader in enterprise and family business at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh; Abi Golland, Co-Director of Street Food Chef; and Adam Hainsworth, Director of A.W. Hainsworth, an eight-generation family textile business based in Stanningley, Leeds.

Dr David Devins, Principal Researcher at Leeds Business School, within Leeds Beckett, explained: “In many respects family businesses face similar challenges to non-family firms when seeking to prosper and grow – sufficient working capital, financing growth, attracting and retaining the best talent, innovating to develop profitable new products and markets and the uncertain impact of an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Family business values are often a source of considerable competitive advantage at a time when brands are struggling to retain the trust and loyalty of their customers but those same values can bring families and business interests into conflict and result in managerial decision making that is not determined by business rational alone.

“In our workshop, drawing on the knowledge and expertise of internationally-renowned academic-practitioners, we will explore the nature of family businesses, opportunities in international markets and the role of overlapping family, business and social networks which influence the way in which family businesses develop. The views of new and established family businesses will inform our discussions and ensure that the event has relevance to a diverse audience, including family business owner-managers, and those interested in providing professional services to family businesses and publicly-funded business support.”

To book your place on the event, which is free to attend, please click here.

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