University of Vermont

School of Business Administration

The Family Business Initiative @ UVM


The ultimate goal of all businesses is success— for the rare business owner or family, leaving a lasting legacy becomes a motivating force. The Family Business Initiative at the University of Vermont is dedicated to supporting and strengthening the network of family and privately owned businesses. For business owners in Vermont, the FBI@UVM is the best navigational tool to guide them through the issues of governance, strategy and succession by providing confidential access to other owners, resources and peer groups. At the heart of the FBI@UVM are the resources, information, and collaborative relationships designed to help all privately owned businesses succeed and thrive into the next generation and beyond.



Family Business Facts

77% of all new business ventures established in the United States are founded with significant involvement of the family in the business, and another 3% engage family members within the next two years (Chua, Chrisman & Chang 2004)  

While optimistic about their own future, family businesses are less optimistic about the U.S. economy: nearly half (47 percent) indicated that they are somewhat or very pessimistic about the country’s economic future. (Family Business Confidence Survey, 2012)

96% of business owners believe that the long-term investment philosophy, commitment to employees and suppliers, and contributions to its communities distinguish family firms from other businesses. (Family Enterprise USA, 2013)

32% of our family businesses were apprehensive about the transfer of the business to the next generation, and 9% see the possibility of family conflict as a result. (PwC Family Business Survey 2012)

The average life span of a family-owned business is 24 years (, 2010). About 40% of U.S. family-owned businesses turn into second-generation businesses, approximately 13% are passed down successfully to a third generation, and 3% to a fourth or beyond (, 2010)

UVM Family Business Awards

Family businesses are a major driver in the world economy. What may often start as an idea in the home, with determination and innovation grows into a business built to last. The School of Business Administration would like to recognize those alumni and Vermont based businesses that have overcome the challenges of succession to achieve lasting success.

Entrepreneurial Family Firms Academy

The 2015 Entrepreneurial Family Firms Academy is an international week long program to prepare students to work effectively and professionally, in and with family firms, and to launch and create cross-generational value and wealth in family firms.

Become a member

The FBI@UVM works with business owners and their successors to find solutions that work for both the family and the business. Visit the FBI@UVM membership website for more information.


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