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University of Oxford Launches Initiative for Family-Owned Businesses and Impact Investing

University of Oxford's Saïd Business School launches project
© Liv Cashman

The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is breaking new ground with the launch of Ownership Project Insights, the world’s first white paper series dedicated to guiding large family-owned businesses towards greater social impact.

Published by Ownership Project 2.0, housed within the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, this initiative comes at a critical time. Many family-led organisations are re-evaluating their investment strategies and seeking ways to align their assets with global efforts to tackle pressing issues like climate change and pandemics.

Ownership Project Insights aims to fill a crucial gap in the knowledge base available to family-owned businesses. Unlike traditional financial institutions, family capital can be managed through various entities like family offices, holding companies, foundations, or directly within the business itself. This unique structure offers the potential for significant positive change.

The user-friendly white paper series will provide critical analyses, data-driven insights, and practical playbooks for family offices and their advisors. It seeks to improve information sharing within the often fragmented landscape of family-owned businesses, where networks and personal relationships play a dominant role. This existing structure can create barriers to accessing the latest research and best practices.

Dr. Bridget Kustin, leading Ownership Project 2.0, emphasises the importance of family-owned capital in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She positions Ownership Project 2.0 as a “critical friend” to these organisations, offering data-driven research and practical tools to maximise their impact.

The inaugural publication in the series, titled “Succession beyond the family: The future of philanthropy, according to new MBA graduates,” features essays from recent Oxford Saïd MBA graduates. These essays offer valuable perspectives from the next generation of professionals working within the family-owned business sphere.

Ownership Project 2.0 welcomes submissions from both academics and industry professionals. The series seeks actionable insights on a wide range of topics relevant to family office owners, including impact measurement, innovative financing models, and strategies for leveraging the social, financial, and cultural capital unique to family-owned entities.

All submissions will undergo a peer-review process before publication.