Change the world

Family Business Unit

Prof Elmarie Venter, Prof Shelley Farrington and Mr Tony Matchaba-hove of the NMMU FBU conducted their second STEP case study interviews among the family members of the well-known Stucky Motors. The family owns and manages the Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi and Chrysler Franchise Dealerships in Newcastle, Volksrust and Piet Retief in Kwazulu-Natal. 

Prof Elmarie Venter was the keynote speaker during Sanlam’s Women Days in Oudtshoorn and Mossel Bay on 24 and 25 May.  Her topic was, “Strategies on how women can achieve work-life balance”.  

Mr Tony Matchaba-Hove attended the inaugural STEP (Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices) Global Academic Conference hosted by Babson College in Boston, USA.

Prof Elmarie Venter attended the KPMG Family Business Conference which was held from 14 - 15 September 2016 in Umhlanga, Durban.

Prof Venter presented a family business workshop for GALILEO Capital on challenges facing family businesses, succession and transgenerational success and governance at Galileo Capital Head Office, Hyde Park, Johannesburg from 2 - 3 November 2016.

Professor Shelley Farrington and Mr Abdul-Gasiep Jappie recently attended the 2016 South African Institute of Management Sciences (SAIMS) conference hosted by the University of Pretoria.

Did you know that Volkswagen is a family-owned business, with the Porsche family owning more than 30% of the company’s shares, and that the Walton family owns more than half the shares of United States retail giant Wal-Mart?

Prof Elmarie Venter was one of more than 100 women nominated by their peers to participate in the 2016 Businesswomen's Association of South Africa's Regional Business Achiever Awards.

Mr Tony Matchaba-Hove was named as the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences Emerging Researcher of the Year.
Three members of the Family Business Unit were recognised for their excellent contributions to Research, Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences.
The NMMU Family Business Unit successfully presented its fifth Family Business Consultant Short Learning Programme from 10-12 May 2016 at the KPMG Head Office in Johannesburg.
During the week of the 9th - 13th of May 2016, Department of Business Management lecturer, Ms Shelley Saunders, visited Hochschule Osnabruck in Germany to present lectures entitled: Marketing Communication: A Dynamic Global Environment.
Prof Elmarie Venter, Director of the NMMU Family Business Unit, was invited to participate in a discussion forum on family businesses and family farming that took place in front of a live studio audience during the NAMPO Agricultural Show that took place from the 17th till the 20th of May 2016.
On the 10th and 11th May Professor Shelley Farrington attended the STEP (Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices) Academic Meeting in Zwolle, the Netherlands.
Business Management lecturers, Prof Chantal Rootman, Dr Janine Kruger and Mr Tony Matchaba-Hove won the Best Paper Award at the 3rd Business and Management Conference held in Lisbon, Portugal from 22 - 25 March 2016.

The Family Business Unit was featured in the business supplement of The Herald newspaper in November 2015. Click on the link below for a PDF copy of the article.

Family Business Unit in The Herald



The NMMU Family Business Unit hosted its fourth successful Family Business Consultant Short Learning Programme from 16-18 November 2015 at the North Campus Conference Center in Port Elizabeth.

Four Business Management lecturers won best paper awards at the International Business Conference (IBC) held in Zambia, 20 - 23 September 2015.

Two lecturers from the Department of Business Management were honoured at the NMMU's annual Research and Teaching Award function which was held at The Boardwalk on 15 September 2015.

The 27th Annual SAIMS Conference was held from 30 August 2015 - 01 September 2015. The conference was hosted by the University of Cape Town.

Lecturers from the Department of Business Management namely: Prof Eileen Mazibuko, Prof Sandra Perks, Prof Elroy Smith, Ms Nadine Oosthuizen, Mr Tony Matchaba-Hove and Mr Xolile Antoni, presented papers at various international conferences.


Prof Venter presented a Summerschool on Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice in Utrecht, the Netherlands, during the week of 6 - 10 July 2015.

Prof Elmarie Venter attended the Annual International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) Conference which was held in Hamburg, 30 June - 2 July 2015.

Prof Venter of the Department of Business Management and School of Management Sciences, together with Prof Chris Adendorff, Adjunct Professor at the NMMU Business School, attended the 12th European Families in Business Conference which was held in Rome, Italy at the St Regis Hotel on 23-24 June 2015.

Prof Elmarie Venter is the Faculty of Business and Economic Science's Researcher of the Year for 2014. She was also the Faculty's Researcher of the Year in  2010 and the Emerging Researcher of the Year in 2007.

Prof Elmarie Venter of the School of Management Sciences was invited by die Nyenrode Business School in the Netherlands to teach various topics to Indian students from the S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research during a Family Business Course during the week of 1 - 5 June 2015.

Undertaking thorough market research and knowing your customers is a vital aspect of business success. Two guest speakers, Kevin Abrahams and Ross Flood recently highlighted this to the first year business management students.

The Family Business Unit, together with members of the Gutsche Family, as well as academics from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, enjoyed a lovely evening together at the GFI Art Gallery on 5 March 2015.

Lecturers from the School of Management Sciences attended the 26th SAIMS Annual Conference hosted by the University of Johannesburg.

Prof Elmarie Venter, from the Department of Business Management, attended The Annual Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC), which was held from January 8-11, in Burlington, Vermont, as well as the Price-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators, held during January 12 – 16 in Boston, USA.


The School of Management Sciences Family Business Unit was proud to host renowned world-class speaker and researcher, Professor Saras Sarasvathy, from Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.

On Thursday evening, 12 June 2014, The School of Management Sciences Family Business Unit in collaboration with the Regional Innovation Forum, Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber and NMMU Business School hosted an interactive event on:  “How to create Entrepreneurial Success in a Volatile Environment: A New Approach.”

KPMG, in association with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Family Business Unit, hosted its first one day Family Business Conference for members of family businesses to discuss some of the challenges they face.  The topics discussed were leadership transition (succession), managing governance in a family business and how family businesses can expand into Africa. 

Lecturers from the Department of Business Management attended the 8th International Business Conference held in Namibia.

The School of Management Sciences Family Business Unit will be hosting Prof Saras Sarasvathy during the week of 9 – 13 June 2014.

Prof Elmarie Venter, Director of the NMMU Family Business Unit, visited the Netherlands from 9-12 October. 

 Prof Pramodita Sharma visited the NMMU this week as a guest of the NMMU Family Business Unit, housed in the School of Management Sciences.  Professor Sharma is the Sanders Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Business, University of Vermont, and the Global Director of the STEP project, Babson College, as well as the Editor-in-Chief, Family Business Review.


The NMMU has identified 13 general research themes that are supported by the institution in terms of funding and institutional support. One of these themes is:  “Sustainable local economic development”.  Entrepreneurship, SMMEs and family businesses is one of the 5 sub-themes under this main research theme, emphasising again the importance of entrepreneurship and family businesses as research focus areas in South Africa. 

NMMU School of Management Sciences is pleased and privileged to host guest lecturer Professor Pramodita Sharma from The University of Vermont.

It was a historic day for South African universities who came together from across South Africa to Benoni to launch a national university body to develop the country’s universities as entrepreneurship and innovation centres.  This is a significant initiative to reduce poverty through stimulating our universities as hotbeds of innovation and entrepreneurship.  Two colleagues from the Department of Business Management at the NMMU, Prof Elmarie Venter and Prof Shelley Farrington, represented the university at this workshop.