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Aalto University School of Business

Available dates

Nov 27, 2019—Jan 24, 2020
6 daysModules info
Helsinki, Finland
EUR 8500 ≈USD 9478
EUR 1416 per day


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About the course

Family business is a unique form of business and entrepreneurship. The definition of a family business may vary but the common denominator is the same, the passion for entrepreneurship and a strong legacy. Out of the oldest companies still operational in our time, several started out as family businesses and many still continue to be run by generation after generation. One could claim that family business is the original start-up.

The Family Business Program, co-created by Aalto University Executive Education and IE Business School, brings together family business professionals globally to gain insights into what the future will demand from a family venture. The program will equip participants with the tools and strategies to enable them to continue building on their legacy and successfully pass the baton to future generations.

In six intensive contact days at two of Europe’s leading business centers, complemented with online learning, participants who complete this certificate program will gain the skills and tools they need to lead and grow a family venture.

As a participant, you will be working in diverse groups throughout the program on a family business roadmap supported by our Academic Directors.

In addition, the program offers a unique opportunity for participants to combine the program with participation in the world’s leading start-up events SLUSH in Helsinki and the South Summit in Madrid. These events will provide a platform for you to network beyond your group and meet professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world.


The Family Business Program will empower you with the tools and strategies to explore new business opportunities and adopt a mindset of innovation agility. The focus is on empowering new ideas and new ventures while always keeping in mind the core of family business strategy.

Contents and Schedule

Participants will learn to use practical tools to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and create their enterprise’s future. The program will address questions like: How do you build on your current heritage? How can you be as innovative as a start-up? How do you look at business strategy with a new lens? What does creativity mean in a Family Business context? – all while embracing the complex dynamics of family businesses and navigating your way through the main challenges of families in business.

The program will deliver a blended learning experience though face-to-face modules in Helsinki and Madrid, online sessions, and a Family Business Roadmap project. The powerful six face-to-face days in Madrid and Helsinki include diverse learning methodologies such as facilitated sessions and workshops with IE and Aalto professors, keynotes, guest speakers, cases, and discovery visits. Participants will have the opportunity to meet and network with family businesses from multiple countries and business cultures. Learning before and in-between modules is facilitated online.

Who should attend

This program is for family business owners, board members, non-executive directors, next generation leaders, and top management of family businesses across all sectors. We recommend that participating organizations are represented in this program by both management and ownership. Family business is a unique form of entrepreneurship, but it is not immune to the rapidly changing business environment. Family enterprises need to start adopting new ways of working and creating the future for themselves by continuously building and renewing their business, governance, and brand.

Future leaders in family businesses should develop an entrepreneurial orientation and find means and methods to enable growth through family commitment. Family businesses need a generation of leaders who are the ambassadors for creativity and innovation and embed this mindset in their organizations.

Trust the experts

Ricardo Perez

Professor of Information Systems at Instituto de Empresa, Professor Ricardo Pérez has combined an extensive professional career with one of deep research into the field of new technologies. This dual profile, coupled with fifteen years of experience, has made him a recognized authority in the rap...


Pekka Mattila

Dr. Pekka Mattila serves as a Professor of Practice at the Aalto University School of Business. He works frequently with both European and Asian executive audiences on themes of strategic management and agility, strategy co-creation, business model innovation, executive leadership, top team dynam...


Daniel Soriano

Director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, Academic Director of the specialized Entrepreneurship Module and Professor of Entrepreneurship, IE Business School. Professor and Mentor of Corporate Innovation Projects in Multinationals at Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate L...


Rachida Justo

Born of a Tunisian mother and a Dominican father and married to a French citizen, Rachida likes to describe herself as a product of globalization. “I am very versatile and in that respect the cultural diversity and openness to change of IE Business School provides me with an ideal environment whe...


Fabian Sepulveda

New ventures have the potential to change the world. They are exciting, energizing, even addictive adventures that emerge on their own or inside existing organizations. Yet only a handful of them succeed, and nobody knows in advance those that will make it. Chances are the unprepared will fail. T...


Eero Vaara

Eero Vaara is Professor of Management and Organization at Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland, and permanent Visiting Professor at EMLYON Business School, France. He is also a Distinguisehd visiting scholar at Lancaster University and Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business Sc...


Cristina Cruz

Born into a family business, Professor Cruz dedicates most of her teaching and research to studying organizations in which a family group is present and has an influence in strategic decision making. The results of her research have been published in leading international academic journals inclu...


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