Following five years of industry consultation with organisations such as Scottish Family Business Association, Family Business United and a range of family-run Scottish businesses, the University has developed a new MSc and MBA in Family Business and Small Business to meet a growing demand.
The two specialist programmes will offer experienced business professionals, as well as recent business graduates and those who are returning to the family business after studying for an unrelated degree , greater insight into the value, practice and function of family businesses. Topics will include family business succession, governance, behavioural finance and risk.
In 2014, a major research project involving QMU’s business experts revealed how family businesses and SMEs in Scotland have the potential to boost the country’s annual economy by up to £1.23 billion.
Our research suggests that family businesses are crying out for the right kind of support to help them succeed across the generations
The study, which also involved government bodies, businesses and professional advisers, indicates that Scotland needs to do more to build and protect this important sector. There is an opportunity for Scotland to lead America and parts of Europe in providing the knowledge, skills and support needed to become a world-wide centre of excellence. In Scotland, SMEs account for 99.3% of all private sector enterprises and 63% of these are family businesses.
Dr Claire Seaman, Reader in Enterprise & Family Business at QMU, said: “After several years of industry consultation, we’re very pleased to have reached this milestone in the development of our new MSc and MBA in Family Business Management. We will continue to engage and work with Scotland’s SME and family business policy makers and practitioners to explore ways of improving the growth and sustainability of this vital sector.
“Our research suggests that family businesses are crying out for the right kind of support to help them succeed across the generations. If we want to change thinking and practice and improve business succession across these businesses, we need an integrated approach to learning, research and influencing policy.”
PHOTO: (L-R) Grant Bell (Owner of East Links Family Park, Dunbar, East Lothian), Dr Claire Seaman (Reader in Enterprise & Family Business at Queen Margaret University) & Richard Bent (MBA Director at Queen Margaret University) at East Links Family Park, Dunbar, East Lothian