Family business expert to address future of sector at Scottish Family Business Conference 2016

By Press Office

A family business expert from Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, is to take part in a debate about the future of the sector at the Scottish Family Business Conference in Glasgow on Thursday 6 October.

Dr Claire Seaman, Reader in Enterprise & Family Business at QMU, will host a workshop focusing on ‘Family and Business Strategy – Governance and Succession’ at the event, which is being run be Family Business United Scotland as part of Scottish Family Business Week, 3-7 October.

A recent research project involving QMU’s business experts revealed how family businesses and SMEs in Scotland have the potential to boost the country’s annual economy by up to £1.23 billion. The study, which also involved government bodies, businesses and professional advisers, indicates that Scotland needs to do more to build and protect this important sector. There is an opportunity for Scotland to lead America and parts of Europe in providing the knowledge, skills and support needed to become a world-wide centre of excellence.

In Scotland, SMEs account for 99.3% of all private sector enterprises and 63% of these are family businesses.

QMU’s Dr Claire Seaman, said: “All our research and work with businesses emphasises the importance of family owned and managed businesses. That’s why we’re tailoring some of our educational provision around family business – our research suggests that family businesses are crying out for the right kind of support to help them succeed across the generations. If we want to change thinking and practice and improve business succession across these businesses, we need an integrated approach to learning, research and influencing policy.”

To coincide with Scottish Family Week, Dr Seaman has also published a new blog, What Does the Future Hold for Family Businesses?’, which is linked to research undertaken by the Family and Smaller Enterprises research team at QMU into the South Asian community in Edinburgh.

QMU launched two new postgraduate study programmes in Family Business in 2016 following five years of industry consultation with organisations such as Scottish Family Business Association, Family Business United Scotland and a range of family-run Scottish businesses.

MSc International Management & Leadership with Family & Smaller Enterprises and MBA Family & Smaller Enterprises offer experienced business professionals, as well as recent business graduates and those who are returning to the family business after studying for an unrelated degree, greater insight into the value, practice and function of family businesses. Topics will include family business succession, governance, behavioural finance and risk.

For more information on the family business programmes at QMU, visit our Business courses homepage, or contact Dr Claire Seaman at QMU, E:, T: 0131 474 0000


Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: T: 0131 474 0000.

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