AUS partners with Tharawat Family Business Forum to promote research on family-owned businesses


To provide a framework of cooperation and to facilitate collaboration in areas of interest, representatives of American University of Sharjah (AUS) and Tharawat Family Business Forum met at AUS School of Business on Monday, to discuss research on family-owned businesses.

The meeting followed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed recently by AUS Chancellor Dr. Björn Kjerfve, and Farida F. El Agamy, General Manager of the Tharawat Family Business Forum, a private sector association.

As one of the region’s premier research centers, AUS is committed to becoming a recognised family business knowledge hub nationally as well as internationally. This agreement builds on the commitment of both AUS and the Tharawat Family Business Forum to support and guide the development of leading research initiatives and best practice for family business sustainability. The focus of this agreement will be the launch of the first academic family business conference in the MENA, to be held in March 2018.

Dean, School of Business Administration at AUS, Dr. Jorg Bley said: “This MoU provides the foundation for a long-term relationship between AUS and the Tharawat Family Business Forum with the aim of contextualizing the phenomenon of family business in the UAE and the wider MENA region through the dissemination of research and practical applications.”

According to Dr. Rodrigo Basco, Associate Professor and Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business at the AUS School of Business Administration:”The aim of this collaboration is to connect the Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business, which was established at AUS in 2016, with our local, national, and international business family community. In synch with the university’s wider vision, this collaboration is going to provide new opportunities to our students, who are the future family business leaders, to assume the challenges of upcoming social and economic changes.”

Speaking on the ties between the business and academic communities, Farida El Agamy said:”At the Tharawat Family Business Forum, we believe in the great need for more in-depth, sustainable research on family-owned businesses in the region. We are delighted that in this ground-breaking collaboration with AUS and the Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business, we can build bridges between the business community and academic researchers to develop best practice for the future.”

AUS’s research mission aims to foster sustainable support to family business by creating value for business families and regional communities through research and teaching activities that connect family generations and enable them to successfully achieve their individual, family, business and community objectives.

Together, AUS and the Tharawat Family Business Forum will work on developing a conference to contextualize the area of family businesses in the UAE, GCC and MENA region.