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About us


To enhance the growth and continuity of diverse family businesses in Ontario and beyond by creating and disseminating world-class research and programming.


To create and disseminate impactful family business research and programming by leveraging Ted Rogers School of Management’s large student body, Toronto Metropolitan University's faculty and award-winning entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as Toronto’s diverse family business community. 

The strategic plan focuses on three key pillars:

Leveraging the diversity of family businesses within the university and local community, the Family Business Institute's initial strategic plan focuses on three key pillars:

  • Research – to increase awareness, knowledge, and the understanding of family businesses in order to advance scholarship, practice, and policy in the field. This is the primary goal of the institute.
  • Education – to disseminate knowledge to, and build the capabilities of, students, family business members, advisers, educators, and researchers and inspire startups in family businesses just as the Ted Rogers School inspires entrepreneurial startups. Educating the institute’s community on the core research is envisioned to be integral to its success. 
  • Engagement – to collaborate, develop relationships, and build a global network with family business organizations, professional associations, and policy-makers. Engaging the community will provide a stronger and broader foundation to support research gathering and initiatives.

Leveraging our core strengths

Largest undergraduate business student population in Canada

The Ted Rogers School of Management's undergraduate business student cohort is the largest of any university in Canada – far surpassing any other English-speaking university. Our size provides an unparalleled opportunity to understand the ‘rising generation’ of potential successors who are destined to take over ownership and / or leadership of their family businesses. Through ongoing research studies, we can better understand the factors motivating this cohort to ultimately guide the most effective and successful succession processes from their perspectives as well as the senior generations.

Toronto Metropolitan University’s multicultural population

TMU's population, reflective of the diversity in Toronto, which has the highest percentage of first generation immigrants of any city in Canada, enables the Institute to apply this diversity lens to its research, thereby filling a global research need.

Family enterprise lies at the heart of TMU’s ecosystem

Family enterprise is the most prominent form of business in Canada, accounting for nearly half of private sector GDP and employment. The Ted Rogers School is not only the largest business school in Canada but is known for its entrepreneurial zones and bold aspirations, with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, and now the Family Business Institute interconnects with each of the components and deepens TMU’s research, connection and understanding within each of its focus areas. Further, TMU’s existing strengths and diversity complements the Institute’s goals providing it with strong advantages. 

Venn diagram: Family Business (centre); Family & Societal Diversity; Undergraduate & Postgraduate Education; Student & Alumni Experience; Diverse Local Businesses & Population; Urban Partnerships & Innovation; Institutes, Zones & Research Centres.

Current initiatives

Pulse of the GTA Family Business Sector

Given the prevalence of family businesses in the area surrounding TMU, the Institute is surveying family business decision makers to better understand their key challenges and views on running a family business in the GTA. The research is being conducted simultaneously by academic leaders and students enrolled in our family business courses. We want to ensure students focus on real-world challenges in family business and so they are part of the investigative team!

Next Generation Development Project

Building on prior work in “Whole Person Learning” aimed at potential successors in family business, the Institute is rethinking how family business successor development should be rolled out, focusing on a wide variety of essential interpersonal and reflective skills as opposed to simply traditional business skills.

Diversity and Inclusion in Family Businesses

Given the Institute’s location in Toronto with the largest community of first generation immigrants, the Institute is seeking to obtain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities of new Canadians involved in a family business. 

For general inquiries, please contact the Family Business Institute at (opens in new window)