Faculty & Leadership Blog / Research and Practice

Babson Hosts Inaugural STEP Global Academic Conference

Babson will host the first Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) Global Academic Conference, October 13-15, 2016, which will include a multitude of opportunities for STEP colleagues to work collaboratively, providing rigorous and valuable insights into STEP research and issues associated with transgenerational entrepreneurship.

The event will take place at Babson’s new 100 High Street campus in the heart of Boston’s Financial District.  The High Street campus, opening this Fall, features approximately 2,000 square feet of ground floor space along Federal Street, which will provide a window into entrepreneurship in action with events, co-working space, and room to showcase the entrepreneurial activities of Babson students and alumni.

STEP Conference

STEP Global Academic Conference

Since the founding of STEP, significant progress has been made in expanding the understanding of entrepreneurship within the context of family owned enterprises. With 36 academic institutions across the globe involved in the project, much of this progress can be attributed to scholars involved in STEP. The purpose of this conference is to showcase the great work (current and new) that is currently being done by STEP scholars, to provide a venue for receiving valuable feedback on the research and to strengthen the ties between STEP team members across the globe.

Scholars of all levels will find value in presenting research at all stages. Traditional paper sessions, poster sessions, round tables and other methods of presenting and sharing scholarly work will all be a part of the conference.

Young scholars will benefit from sessions focused on publishing advice and journal choice from experienced editorial board members.

Scholars looking to start new collaborative projects will benefit from facilitated brainstorming sessions focused on developing ideas for new collaborative research projects.

“We are very much looking forward to the opportunity to leverage the fantastic knowledge we have in our STEP community,” said STEP Academic Director and Babson Professor Matt Allen.

For information.


STEP (Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices) Project for Family Enterprise is global applied research project.  It is a collaboration of scholars, worldwide, studying successful entrepreneurial practices of family businesses over time.  Babson College is the convener of this Project.

STEP Project was launched in 2005 with 7 founding institutions: Babson College (USA), ESADE (Spain), HEC (France), Jönköping International Business School (Sweden), Universita Bocconi (Italy), Universitat St. Gallen (Switzerland), Universitat Witten/Herdecke (Germany).  There are now 36 Institutions and over 175 scholars involved in this project from 5 regions: Europe (2005), Latin America (2006), Asia-Pacific (2007), North America (2011) and Africa (2015).


Candida Brush, Babson College, STEP Faculty Research Director and Global Board member; Matthew Allen, Babson College, STEP Academic Director; Carole Howorth, Bradford University, Board Chair; Valerie Duffy, Babson College, STEP Assistant Director; Donna Luce, Babson College, STEP Administrative Assistant. 


  • Qualitative Database –STEP scholars have submitted 123 longitudinal research cases from 5 regions of the world.
  • Quantitative Survey – Launched in English in Sept. 2013, a first of its kind survey investigating the impact of entrepreneurial attitudes and resources on performance and continuity in business families. Survey was available for teams in 13 languages and closed February 28, 2015.  During the 18 month survey, 686 families participated completing 1056 surveys.
  • Publications:
    • Survey Global Findings Report released August 2015
    • 14 scholarly articles published, based on STEP data
    • 6 books (5 in Elgar series books), based on STEP data.
    • 7 Observation and Practitioner Booklets, based on STEP data
    • 8 STEP Scholar dissertations based on STEP data
    • North American Case Research Journal, Special Issue on Family Businesses; released in Nov. 2013
    • 24 Issues of the quarterly Newsletter STEPout published
  • Scholarly awards–STEP scholars are recognized with numerous awards in the realm of family business

STEP EVENTS (since 2005)

  • 16 Regional Summits (4 regions) attended by STEP scholars and families
  • 2 Global Summits attended by STEP scholars and families (1st Global Summit held at Babson 2010; 2nd Global Summit at ESADE, Barcelona, November 2013). The next Global Summit will be hosted by Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland on November 8-11, 2017.
  • Our first STEP Academic Conference, exclusively for STEP members, will be held in October 13-15, 2016.
  • STEP Global Board (2 scholars from each region, 1 Babson member, and a Chair), as the governing body of the Project, the Board has convened 32 meetings via conference call /Skype since its creation in 2010.
  • 52 Academic Meetings within the 4 regions held to present their cases, discuss quantitative data, present research findings and plan summits.
  • 14+ STEP scholar informal gatherings/meetings (held at family business related conferences, AoM)

36 STEP Affiliates (5 Regions) from 32 countries

Latin America (10)

Europe (11)

Asia Pacific (10)

North America (4)

Africa (1)