The purpose of STEP (Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practice) is to investigate how entrepreneurial practices are transferred from one generation to the next in family businesses, and to provide practical solutions to the companies. The project was founded in 2005 at Babson College with the Centre for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO) at JIBS as one of the five founding partners.
The Global STEP project helps to uncover the successful entrepreneurial strategies of leading family businesses as well as to portray a detailed picture of their practices and processes in an international and comparative fashion. STEP Africa brings together families from South Africa with academics from Europe and South Africa for sharing and learning about entrepreneurship across generations in a family business context.
The STEP Africa workshop was initiated by Professor Ethel Brundin, JIBS and Professor Kobus Visser, University of the Western Cape (UWC) and provided a unique learning dialogue between academics and a selected group of family business members. Based on the most recent research on family businesses in the Western Cape, the workshop was designed to directly encourage and inspire family business members to discuss and reflect upon entrepreneurial activities across generations. The purpose is also to offer tangible benefits to the participants from the experience that occur, relationships created and findings discussed, and provide interaction between family business members from well-known family business institutions and academics and researchers.
The workshop started with a gathering of the invited researchers for an update and presentations of current research issues within the project. On the next day, twenty-two family business owners and researchers attended, providing insightful presentations and lively conversations. The day started with a welcome speech by the Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Professor Chris Tapscott. He praised the initiative to bring STEP to South Africa and the fact that the project combines research and practise in a promising way.
On November 26, the European research team, together with the UWC team, visited one of the STEP cases, namely Simonsig Estate and a possible future STEP case, the Bellevue Wine Estate.
The European team consisted of Ethel Brundin and Leif Melin from Jönköping International Business School/CeFEO and Alberto Gimeno, ESADE, Spain. Rob Nason, previously Babson and STEP Global joined the group as well as Caroline Wigren, Associate Professor of Lund University. The UWC team consisted of Professor Kobus Visser and PhD candidate Wesley Clarence, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, UWC.