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Family Business Unit

The Nelson Mandela University Family Business Unit will focus on families and the businesses they own and manage throughout Africa. In doing so, a multi-disciplinary approach allowing for inter- and intra-faculty collaboration will be adopted.

In line with the academic and research focus areas of the Nelson Mandela University, the activities of the Nelson Mandela University Family Business Unit will focus on the following:


  • The offering of short courses, customised workshops, seminars, and executive programmes that address the challenges faced by students and their family businesses;
  • The offering of a Family Business management elective at post-graduate or MBA level, focusing on both the theory and practice of managing family businesses.


  • Producing high-quality research outputs in the field of family business by partnering with international scholars and institutions;
  • Producing high-quality post-graduate learners;
  • Cultivating a diverse community of family business researchers;
  • Contributing to multi-disciplinary research in the field, by undertaking contract research;
  • Creating a direct link between business families and the research and study of family businesses at a national and international level.


  • Creating forums that provide opportunities for networking and research;
  • Developing international collaboration with partner universities and institutes performing related research, education and consulting;
  • Drawing on global faculty resources and developing long-term relationships and networks with leading family businesses and institutions such as the Family Business Association of South Africa (FABASA), Family Business Network (FBN) and the Family Firm Institute (FFI).
  • Undertaking community-service activities that advance family business sustainability, through education and research, both nationally and internationally.


  • Development of black-owned family businesses;
  • Identifying and researching the needs of black-owned family businesses and developing short courses to address these needs;
  • Building a community of black-owned businesses.
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