The Bertarelli Foundation has funded a new faculty chair at Babson College in Massachusetts with a $3 million gift. The Bertarelli Foundation Distinguished Professor of Family Entrepreneurship will lead a “multidisciplinary approach to family enterprise, where the family, not the business, is the focus.”
The gift agreement, signed by Dona Bertarelli and Babson President Kerry Healey, was made at the 2014 Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference in London, Ontario, where more than 400 leading academics and doctoral researchers gathered.
Also announced at the conference is a new research prize, named for Ernesto Bertarelli (who graduated from Babson in 1989) in “recognition of his family’s track record in fostering entrepreneurship.” The Bertarelli Prize will reward $2,500 to best family entrepreneurship paper presented at the conference.
“Family entrepreneurs face a unique challenge,” said Dona Bertarelli . “As their businesses grow or change, they, too, need to adapt and evolve. At the same time, they need to preserve the original and special strengths, passions, and entrepreneurial characteristics of the family as they move in new directions. Through this faculty chair and our partnership with Babson College, we will have the opportunity to study this dynamic and help a new generation of individuals become tomorrow’s family entrepreneurs.”
Babson President Kerry Healey said: “Families are the dominant form of business organization worldwide and they play a leading role in the social and economic wealth creation of communities and countries,” Healey said. “For almost a century, Babson has been at the forefront educating entrepreneurial families and conducting research and programming to help family enterprises achieve continued growth. Thanks to the generosity of the Bertarelli Foundation, we will make even greater strides developing the entrepreneurial mindsets and capabilities that enable business families to think and act more entrepreneurially in all contexts.”
Family entrepreneurship has been at the core of Babson College from its founding. The institute that later became Babson College was established to educate the sons of businessmen to join their fathers’ businesses. Babson’s vast experience with family businesses includes nearly a century of teaching, research, and programming for students, alumni, and friends of the College. As part of its Institute for Family Entrepreneurship, Babson is a founding member of the Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) project, a global applied research initiative exploring the entrepreneurial process within business families and generating solutions that have immediate application for family leaders.