The Business Families Centre was initiated in 2001 by more than 30 founding families. At that time, business families were grossly underrepresented in the academic market, despite employing about half of the Canadian workforce and being responsible for approximately 55% of Canada’s GDP.
Seeking to position itself as a key player in the growing field of family enterprise studies, the BFC’s initial mandate was simple: bridge leading family enterprise scholarship to meaningfully serve the broader business family community via outreach, access to resources, and delivery of cutting-edge programming. Led by then-Executive Director Judi Cunningham and supported by an Advisory Board comprised of leading business minds, the BFC quickly established itself as world-class resource for the business family community.
Since developing its first family programs, the BFC has expanded in many directions—in service not only to families and their businesses, but also by contributing family enterprise research, building national and international networks, working with media, engaging the business community at large, and partnering with with the Institute of Family Enterprise Advisors (IFEA) to successfully establish the only family enterprise advisor designation in the world.
Having made significant headway in its mission to illuminate family enterprise as a specialized academic field and supported by the Bank of Montreal’s Financial Group, the BFC is now building on its past successes to cultivate new events, resources, and programs for today’s business families. Housed within UBC’s Sauder School of Business, Canada’s leading research business school, the BFC is uniquely situated to draw from leading family enterprise and business academics to meet the complex needs of enterprising families at all stages of their business and ownership life cycles.