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Family Business Unit

02/07/2015

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.

She published three articles in accredited international journals (ISI indices) regarding extrinsic rewards in family businesses, the influence of corporate social responsibility and the potential outcomes of CSR engagement factors on the competitiveness of SMEs. An article was also published in the DoE accredited national journal, the Journal of Contemporary Management, on the influence of CSR factors on the business reputation of SMEs in Uganda. Her co-authors are Prof Farrington and Prof Smith, both from the Department of Business Management and School of Management Sciences, where she is also a staff member.

Prof Venter also delivered three papers during the 26th Annual Conference of the Southern Institute for Management in September 2014. Her paper, together with Prof Farrington, on the relationship between goal achievement and the job satisfaction of small and medium-sized business owner-managers, won the Best Paper Award. She also delivered two papers in May 2014 at the 4th International Conference on Systematic Entrepreneurship on the influence of perceived happiness on students' entrepreneurial intention at a higher educational institution in South Africa, as well as the influence of human and social capital on the perceived value creation in technological entrepreneurial ventures.

She supervised several doctoral and masters students who graduated in April last year. These students researched topics such as the perceived value creation in technology-based entrepreneurial businesses, the impact of happiness on students' entrepreneurial intention at a higher educational institution, as well as the impact of happiness on the job satisfaction of employees in the ICT industry.

Besides publishing in national and international journals, Prof Venter also places a high priority on engagement with private practice, the family business community, as well as international collaboration, teaching and research. Prof Venter attended the Price-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators which as held during January 12 - 16 in Boston, USA. Babson is the number one entrepreneurship university in the world. In addition, she attended The Annual Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC) was held from January 8 - 11, in Burlington, Vermont. FECC is the ONLY case competition in the world solely dedicated to family enterprise cases. Prof Venter was invited to be a judge during the Annual Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC). There were student teams, academics and business owners from more than 25 countries. Elmarie was also invited to act as keynote speaker on two occasions. She was the keynote speaker at a women's seminar organised by Agri-Eastern Cape on the challenges facing family farms and the role of women in these challenges. She was also the keynote speaker of the Fish River Farmers Association where her address was on succession and governance in family businesses.

The NMMU Family Business Unit, of which Prof Venter is the Director, also hosted well-known international, effectuation researcher Prof Saras Sarasvathy in June 2014. Prof Sarasvathy presented a two day writing workshop on: "Writing for world-class academics". On 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 even on: "How to create Entrepreneurial Success in a Volatile Environment: A New Approach." Prof Venter was part of a panel discussion together with Prof Sarasvathy, Dr Stanley van der Heever (Entrepreneur), Johan Ferreira (Eveready) and Brian van Niekerk (Rhino Group).

The NMMU Family Business Unit, in association with KPMG, hosted its first one day Family Business Conference for members of family businesses on 28 August 2014 to discuss some of the challenges they face. The even was facilitated by Mr Alan Barr, Managing Partner of KPMG in the Eastern Cape and Prof Elmarie Venter, Director of the NMMU Family Business Unit. Christophe Bernard, KPMG Global Head of Family business, provided an exclusive insight into the KPMG Global Family 2014 business survey, "Family Businesses investing in Family Businesses". Mr Alan Taverner, CEO of Tavcor Motor COmpany, shared his thoughts on good governance in a family business. Mr Phil Gutsche, Chairman of Coca-Cola Sabco, shared with the audience his experiences expanding business into Africa.

ABOVE: Prof Elmarie Venter