Nelson Mandela University’s Family Business Unit, together with African Family Firms, hosted the first virtual African Family Business Research Conference from 10 to 14 August 2020. The free five-day digital event was co-chaired by the Family Business Unit’s Prof Elmarie Venter and African Family Firms’ Tsitsi Mutendi.

SMEs across South Africa represent more than 98 percent of businesses, employ between 50 and 60 percent of the country’s work force across all sectors, and are responsible for a quarter of job growth in the private sector. With an estimate 80 percent of SMEs in most industries in SA (and in Africa) being family-owned, there is no doubt that this sector is a critical engine of the most economies across Africa.

With the theme “Celebrating research-inspired family business management advancement in Africa”, the conference included responsible family business management in disruptive times, indigenous African family businesses, succession, values, innovation, women and governance in family businesses.

The recap of each day of the conference can be found in the FBU 2020 newsletter, which also has links to each presentation’s recording.


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