The Nelson Mandela University Family Business Unit boasts the largest grouping of family business researchers in South Africa. It is the first and only of its kind in Africa and focuses on the research and teaching of Family Business theory. All four founding members hold a doctoral degree in the area of family business. The unit's researchers are nationally and internationally recognised through publications, award-winning dissertations and papers, and regular attendance at conferences around the world.


The founding members have the knowledge and experience to provide management consultation on family and general business matters. These individuals have a wealth of experience in the field, directly through their involvement in a family business, and indirectly through practice as advisors, trainers and consultants to family businesses. Their affiliates are equally experienced in their areas of specialisation.


This unit works closely with leading scholars and family businesses to provide excellence in family business research and teaching.  Worth noting is the unit’s involvement in the global Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) project, a project that is putting the Nelson Mandela University, the Eastern Cape and South Africa "on the map" in terms of the field of family business. It is also the only FBU in Africa that provides consultation training and other short learning programmes on family business related issues. 


As a STEP collaborator, we have access to academics all over the world, as well as business families, in order to explore the entrepreneurial process among family businesses. The STEP Project enabled us to expand our inter-disciplinary and international research collaboration and various research projects in partnership with international family business researchers. These partnerships generate solutions that have immediate application for family leaders. Academics and leading business families from around the world have joined as partners on the STEP Project to identify and explore successful transgenerational entrepreneurship practices and to create a stream of powerful practices and cases that empower families to build their entrepreneurial legacies.  


The FBU has also built valuable partnerships with companies such as Gutche Family Investments, the Tavcor Motor Group, KPMG, Old Mutual, PWC and Sanlam, to name but a few.