Increasing value in family firms How do family businesses remain successful for generations? This is the question that the European Congress of the family business research project, STEP, will be looking into in St.Gallen on 29 and 30 April. 19 April 2011. The Center for Family Business (CFB-HSG) is organising the English-language congress in the University of St.Gallen’s Executive Campus HSG. At this two-day event, 25 European representatives of STEP will discuss the research findings of the last five years. In panel sessions, round tables and workshops, participants will sound out the challenge of transgenerational entrepreneurship. Family business as an economic factor Family businesses play an important role in the Swiss economy. The way in which they remain entrepreneurial for generations and avoid their seemingly ineluctable decline within three generations is decisive for their success. This is the challenge that the STEP project explores. “Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices” involves 33 university institutions with more than 125 academics and 75 family businesses on three continents. Retaining the spirit of enterprise for generations The transgenerational success of family businesses is investigated in qualitative case studies. According to these, family influence constitutes a great opportunity for many companies, but it has to be organised properly. The partner firms that participate in the project are facing problems that cannot be solved with the methods of traditional management sciences. The researchers of the self-financing STEP project therefore use a methodological mix to conceive of the family in a holistic way rather than as a “side show with emotional nuisance value”.