The Family Business Network expand partnership with Lancaster University Management School

The Family Business Network and Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) are collaborating on several exciting new initiatives in their mutual work to support the family business sector.

Since its inception in 2014, The Family Business Network has established relationships with key organisations that similarly support the needs of the family business community, creating opportunities for learning and development.

Sue Howorth, Co-Director of The Family Business Network said, “Over the years we’ve signposted family businesses to relevant family businesses programmes run by Lancaster University, such as their Family Business Excellence programme. Opening doors to further opportunities for family businesses is part of what we offer at the Network and likewise, Lancaster University have always supported our work and our insight events and conferences.”

During the past 12 months, the two organisations have worked collaboratively on a number of initiatives and events, including the 2019 Family Business Conference and the North West Family Business Awards (NWFBA) held in March 2020, both run by The Family Business Network.  Matt Hutchinson, Programme Manager for the Family Business Excellence Programme at LUMS joined the NWFBA 2020 Judging Panel, using his specialist knowledge and expertise to help the panel identify family business finalists.

Dave Clarkson, Co-Director of The Family Business Network said, “We’re delighted to be able to build on this long-standing partnership in 2020 by supporting LUMS latest programme for small family businesses, Evolve Digital which focuses on the potential of digital technology adoption.

“Lancaster University Management School have also given their support to our forthcoming 24-hour online family business event, as the headline sponsor. The Global Family Business Learning Symposium on 19th November aims to inform, educate, connect and positively challenge the mindsets of families and those working within family businesses from across the globe.

“Amongst our speakers and line up for this event is Professor Steve Kempster, Professor of Leadership Learning and Development at LUMS and Dr Giovanna Campopiano, a Senior Lecturer in Family Business at LUMS.  We are very much looking forward to their scholarly contributions.”

Gill Peers, Knowledge Exchange Manager at Lancaster University Management School, said: “We are delighted that our collaboration with the Family Business Network is going from strength to strength, opening up yet more opportunities for family businesses across the region to access business support and guidance – all grounded in the latest research.”

One of the major forthcoming developments from The Family Business Network is the creation of a new charitable foundation, The Family Business Foundation.  It’s vision is to nurture UK family businesses for current and future generations.

Sue Howorth said, “This is a very special and important project for us which is still in early stages. The purpose behind it is to help with the education and professional development of family members either actively involved within or on a pathway to joining a family business.

“We are honoured to have welcomed Dr. Allan Discua Cruz to our board of trustees and look forward to working closely with him through the Foundation”.

To find out more about any of the programmes or events run by The Family Business Network, visit

To find out more about the family-business related programmes run by Lancaster University, visit