Long-term sustainability and competitiveness of Family Businesses:Education and training resources from the VESTA project

More than 14 million family enterprises (FE) in Europe provide for 50% GDP and 60 million jobs. In times of crisis, family enterprises play a crucial socio-economic role as an employment buffer and pivot of growth. Despite their role, at present there are no programmes and initiatives tailored to the specific needs of family enterprises whose competitiveness is undermined by specific challenges. Shortcomings in regulation, definitions, support system and training limit family enterprises potential, exacerbated by fragmentation among Member States.

VESTA has the objective of supporting the growth and sustaining the competitiveness of family enterprises so that they can strive and continue to play that crucial role of social buffer and economic engine of growth, by developing innovative operational tool and training resources. Within such context, VESTA is devoted to family enterprises, especially those of micro-small size, formal and non-formal VET service providers and representatives of user groups, FB facilitators and members of support associations, media, and to all those who are interested in family business management.

After an in-depth needs-assessment carried out at national and pan-European level aimed at highlighting training areas of interest for the capacity building of both management and employees of FE, VESTA partners designed and developed a tailored training curricula. The training resources are organised in 12 modules under 4 different topics:

ManagementThe discipline of Project Management for Family EnterprisesSix Frameworks for organisation culture in Family EnterprisesHuman Resources in Project ManagementStakeholder engagement and Communication for Family EnterprisesStress management in Family Enterprises  
GovernanceFamily Enterprises: choosing the right Governance ModelSettling intergenerational issues and defining generational changeoverThe emergency handbook for a sudden or temporary succession  
DigitalizationHow to protect your family business from cyber-attacks?Digital effectiveness for Family Enterprises  
InternationalisationEuropean financial instruments for Family EnterprisesTelecommuting and managing from remote  

The training toolkit includes as well additional resources created by partners to further maximize the learning experience of targets, and ease the operationalisation of the education content:

Self-Assessment toolTo evaluate on a series of indicators in some strategical area for FB, such as HR, management and governance. The SAT aims at promoting self-awareness and identifying strengths and facets to be improved.
Family Enterprise Check ListA “guiding tool” to support family enterprises in asking the right questions about business functions, family aspects and governance issues.
Family Enterprise GuidelinesAn in-depth follow-up on the topics brought up by the Checklist.
Family Pact templateAn overview on the tools used at partnership’s countries level and at European level to facilitate succession in the family business
Cybersecurity checklist for Family BusinessTo identify potential lack of digital knowledge and skills which could determine risks in the Cyber Security of the family business
Emergency ChecklistTo self-evaluating business risks and preparing or updating the emergency manual of the family business.
VESTA Knowledge BankA collection of all resources, tools and trainings emerged from the Mapping of the Family Enterprise Ecosystem

All of the aforementioned training and education resources are available for free, in open access and multilanguage format via the official Open Education Resource Platform of the project: