2016 Family Enterprise Case Competition

This week’s Practitioner features the Family Enterprise Case Competition held at the University of Vermont, January 15-17.


One of the nice things about being The Practitioner is that you get invited places! Earlier this month, The Practitioner was invited to the University of Vermont to observe the 2016 Family Enterprise Case Competition.

This competition, now in its fourth year, attracted more than 225 individuals from Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America. These people participated as competitors, coaches, judges, sponsors, and organizers for FECC 2016.  Since its founding in 2013, FECC has hosted 38 different institutions from 16 countries.

Now you may ask, as a reader of The Practitioner, why should you care about a competition in a small US city in the dead of winter? What is the relevant message for practitioners from around the world?

Here are a few reasons:

1. They are coming!

A whole new generation of college graduates whose education includes family enterprise as a dominant form of business worldwide! It’s taken a while, it’s long overdue, and there is a long way to go, but in 30 years, this is surely progress. Here are the teams in Vermont this year.

Brock University
Carleton University
Concordia University
Dalhousie University
University of Manitoba
Wilfrid Laurier UniversityChina
Zhejiang UniversityColombia
Universidad de Los Andes

ICN Business School

Indian School of Business

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences
Windesheim University of Applied SciencesSpain
ESADE Business SchoolSweden
Jönköping International Business School

Grand Valley State University
Saginaw Valley State University
Stetson University
Syracuse University
University of North Texas
University of Vermont

Universidad Panamericana Campus Aguascalientes
Universidad Panamericana Campus Guadalajara

See all the educational centers and programs listed on the FFI website.

2. We have cases!

30 years ago there were no cases dealing with family enterprise. Now they abound. In fact FFI created a small committee of Fellows (Jane Hilburt-Davis, Michael O’Neal and Jill Thomas) to choose from a wide range of pre-screened options when selecting the cases for the year’s competition. These cases are not only useful for the classroom but they also make great introductions to the consulting process. Many consultants use them as a “normalizing” experience before getting into the actual details of what their clients wish to discuss. The cases used this year were:

3. We have judges!

In 2016 the FECC had 57 judges from Australia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and the USA. They are pictured below. More than half of them are members of FFI.

2016 FECC judges

4. We have winners.

Please join The Practitioner in congratulating:

2016 Undergraduate Division Winners

Universidad Panamericana Aguascalientes


2016 Graduate Division Winners
Jönköping International Business School


4. We have visionaries.

Special congratulations to the organizing team from UVM for its vision, and commitment to promoting family enterprise education in this way. Pramodita Sharma, Thomas Chittenden, Rocki-Lee DeWitt, Jie Zhang, Amy Tomas, Linda Kruger, John Turner, Nick Gingrow, Michelle Chapman, Alec Adams.

For more on the 2016 results and the  2017 dates, go here.

Yours in Practice,

The Practitioner