The Austrian Multiplier Event of the SFaB project was held face-to-face on June 28th, 2022, at the premises of BEST – Institut für berufsbezogene Weiterbildung und Personaltraining GmbH in Vienna.
Eight participants who are involved in family businesses: company owners, managers, employees, board members, business consultants, local stakeholders, as well as representatives from media and university from our and our cooperation partners’ networks were invited to participate at the Austrian Support Family Business Multiplier Event.
The aim of the Multiplier Event was to disseminate the Support Family Business (SFaB) project to a wider public during the project´s duration and to gain some insight into the issues of family-run businesses.
The project and its aims were introduced to our event audience. This was followed by a presentation of the foreseen results in the Support Family Business (SFaB) project, such as the virtual learning environment, the MOOC and the learning programme with its five topics. Our audience then had the opportunity to learn more about the proposed five course topics and their learning objectives. In general, it can be concluded that the event was successful. In terms of disseminating the project and foreseen results since we could introduce content ideas to the audience. Another indication for a positive event was that participants showed great interest in the issue, and a lively discussion arose. Participants discussed what family business meant to an economic at large and particularly what SMEs brought in. All of them agreed during this discussion that family business are a special type of business and sometime had to deal with issues which would not apply to other companies; mentioned were strategic alignment, succession planning, ownership issues, the need of balancing work and family life in a closer manner than in other constellations.
The discussion also highlighted important aspects the project partnership should consider in the further development of contents for trainings. This concern can be seen in the fact that the audience found the proposed topics to a large extend suitable but also highlighted that the training should not be seen to be performed in full if the individual requirements and situation did not allow or did not indicate their need – i.e. be rather embedded as situation-related learning. They found that the suggested topics covered a wide range of issues and realities that might occur in a family business. Another part of the discussion focused on the question of how the training contents could be conveyed to the target group, particularly because of their commonly known time constraints (i.e. availability and continuity). Finally, it was expected to provide interesting and appealing material, which would neither be overwhelming in quantity.
In sum, the Multiplier Event was very much appreciated. Feedback questionnaires showed an all over satisfaction of participants with the Multiplier Event, as well as in relation to the event itself, and to the planned project outcomes that were presented. Some of the participants expressed their interest in taking part in piloting activities once a programme and time schedule would be available.