The Family Business Training for the XXIst Century (FBTXXIst) project (www.fbtxxi.com), has been successfully completed. The project was partly funded by the Leonardo da Vinci II Program of the European Commission and an e-learning tool has been developed based specifically on the training needs of the European family businesses.
The project partners, business schools, chambers of commerce and industry, and specialized companies from six European countries, were the following: the business schools ALBA (Greece) and Instituto de Empresa (Spain), the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the consulting company BDO Stoy Hayward (Great Britain), the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the vocational learning and software development company Centro Studi Cultura Sviluppo (Italy) and the software development company Informacao Sistemas e Desenvolvimento (Portugal).
In order to accomplish the final goal of developing an electronic training program tailored to the needs of the European family businesses, the consortium undertook a survey on the characteristics, the training needs and the training preferences of family businesses in the six participating European countries (Greece, Cyprus, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Portugal). The survey results revealed that there are clear opportunities in training activities, but also in other complementary services such as consultancy and networking that will require different launching efforts, according to the country.
The second phase of the project included the development of the training material and the technical features of the electronic tool. The training material is organised in a modular basis including four modules: Module 1: Understanding the Family Business Balance; Module 2: Managing People in the Family Business; Module 3: Succession in the Family Business; Module 4: Long and Short Term Planning in the Family Business. The training material includes, apart from the theoretical part (text), case studies, questions and exercises as well as informative videos and further reading recommendations. Last but not least, a self assessment tool is included in the educational material in order for the family businesses' executives to asses their strengths and weaknesses in the running of their family businesses.
The next step was the testing of the training program. In this phase family businesses' executives from different European countries (Greece among them) participated in a virtual classroom were they had access to the educational material developed by the project and, also, they could interact with the trainer and the other participants. At the end of this testing period the participants had the opportunity to assess the training material and the technical features of the electronic environment, and to suggest improvements for the future.
The project was completed with a high-profile conference in London were family business owners, consultants specialised in providing services to family businesses and researchers in the field exchanged opinions on family business management topics and debated on the future of family businesses in Europe and the world.
The final outcome of the Family Business Training for the XXIst Century project will be available very soon in CD-rom format. ALBA is planning to make available (free of charge) this CD-rom to the Greek family business community. For further information or orders of this free CD please contact: Mr. Aristotelis Alexopoulos, ALBA, Athinas Ave. & 2A Areos Str., 16671, Vouliagmeni, Tel: 210 8964531, Fax: 210 8964737, e-mail: [email protected]