About Us

Business Families Foundation is a not-for-profit educational organization which, through its global partner network of entrepreneurial families, universities and family enterprise consultants, promotes the success and longevity of family businesses through the delivery of specialized courses, events, proprietary research and interactive learning media.

Business Families Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to support, help and empower business families to ensure their sustainability and harmony for generations to come.
Phillipe de Gaspé Beaubien Co-Founder of Business Families Foundation
Business Families Foundation believes in inclusive learning, staying close to your roots both in values and legacy and creating supportive lines of communication for the success of the next generation.
Margaret-Jean Mannix Chairman of Loram 99 Corporation, Co-Chair for Business Families Foundation
Our portal is an essential toolkit for business families, for their chief learning officers and thought-leaders who value lifelong learning, and who put into practice the long-term approaches to business for which family enterprises are renowned.
Olivier de Richoufftz President of Business Families Foundation

Our Future

Our renewed strategic focus will include more blended-learning options delivered through a network of delivery partners who will facilitate half-, single- or multi-day workshops that build on pre-work of online learning. Encouraged by family learning-champions who keep coming back to our educational programming, participants will progress along a personal/family learning journey that contributes to the development of a learning culture within enterprising families.

Our Present

For the five years until 2018, BFF has primarily favored online learning, powered by our own custom-built platform. During the same period, we also launched new initiatives: the Intrapreneurial Initiative (aimed at families seeking alternatives to traditional succession) and the Women in Enterprising Families Initiative (WEFI). We have also organized the annual Family Matters Forum to bring together families who share concerns for sustainability and the triple bottom line.

Our Past

We were established over 30 years ago by Philippe and Nan-b de Gaspé Beaubien whose experience of establishing a family-owned major media company encouraged them to reach out to other enterprising families - to support and empower “learning families” and help the economy to prosper. Based on this foundation, BFF has developed educational material via online learning, blended learning (mix of online learning and in-person activities led by a facilitator), and immersive learning experiences (in-depth, transformative, in-person learning).

Our history

2019

This year is a breath of fresh air for Business Families Foundation. It launches 3 new things: BFF Live webinars and podcasts, the Families Summit of Minds event, and a new and improved website.

2017

The Business Families Foundation board of directors elect Margaret-Jean Mannix and Alex Adelaar as co-chairman of our Foundation in the fall of 2017.

2016

Business Families Foundation launches The Intrapreneurial Initiative – A 16 week program designed to help re-energize family enterprises by empowering the rising generation to create something they are fit to lead.

2015

From November 19-20, Business Families Foundation hosts the first ever Vision 2040 Think Tank, challenging experts, academics and families to look ahead 25 years in celebration of the foundation’s 25th anniversary.

2014

Business Families Foundation welcomes a new President and begins producing short, interactive and relevant education by topic of interest accessible on the go through monthly subscription. In the fall of 2014, BFF hosts a second Family Business Academy in Montreal.

2013

In this year, Business Families Foundation reaches learners in over 30 countries around the world and the BFF team grows internally. New course modules are developed and more partnerships are created with organizations that have the same interest in supporting the growth and harmonious success of family businesses worldwide. The first Hub was created in Asia and a BFF Academy hold in Singapore

2012

Business Families Foundation hosts the first Family Business Academies in Montreal and Mexico City, bringing together people in a face-to-face learning context. Peer forums, speaker series and multiple day workshops result in powerful learning not only for business family members but also for advisors they work with.

2011

The first Family Business course from Business Families Foundation is made available online. Users are able to access learning now anywhere they have an internet connection and can learn at their own pace while tracking their progress throughout.

2010

In this year, Business Families Foundation helped establish the first non-Canadian business family centre at Universidad Virtual del Technologico de Monterrey, in Mexico. In collaboration with its new partner, BFF developed a course specifically designed for students and academics studying entrepreneurship or developing their understanding of the business family unit.

2005-2009

The Gaspe-Beaubien founders were also joined by other families in North America, Mexico and Asia that supported and helped shape the initiative, including the Mannix family, the Garza Laguera family and the Tanoto family. Thanks to their help the Family Business Fundamentals were developed in a unique learning format where theory met practical video case stories for families to interact and engage with throughout their learning.

2000-2004

For many years, Phillipe and Nan-b, along with their trust advisors and other family business experts interested in the field began developing a unique approach focused on enterprising families helping one another to discover techniques for achieving a sustainable business family unit. As a result, the first Family Business Roadmap was released.

Business Families Foundation began forming partnerships with universities throughout Canada to develop that helped develop training and educational programs and encouraging applied research in the under-explored field of family business.

1995-1999

Throughout the years, over business and during social occasions, Phillipe and Nan-b would share experiences with their peers, exchange ideas and coach each other through challenging situations. They decided to officially create a formal setting where business families could gain the help, support and encouragement they needed to stay focused, happy and harmonious generation after generation. Although the process had begun many years before, Phillipe and Nan-b officially initiated the Montreal Institute for Family Enterprise, which later in 1999 became Business Families Foundation.

1990-1994

It was in these years that Phillipe and Nan-b had the opportunity to reflect together on the business family unit and decided to become a “learning family”. Their children had each started to play a role in the business in different ways and the lines between family matters and business issues constantly seemed blurred. Although all the while a happy family, Phillipe and Nan-b realized that their business ventures might be unique, but the trials and tests they faced as a business family were incredibly similar to those of their peers.

1980-1989

This decade presented the de Gaspé Beaubien family with big changes as they took Telemedia public, and adapted to the business implications. The late 80’s also presented them with tough decisions on how to let their three children become involved with the company, when and under what circumstances.

Seeking solutions, they traveled the world to hear best practices in owning, running and transferring a family owned business.

1970-1979

His determination and perseverance continued to grow the strength of Telemedia in the Canadian communications industry. In the mid 70’s his wife, Nan-b, chose to leave her aspiring career in psychology to join her husband and support him in numerous roles.

Together, as a team they began to truly shape their dream of having a successful business that they would live and work passionately for, while providing for their children and loved-ones.

1960-1969

In the footstep of his predecessors, entrepreneurs for the past 3 centuries, Phillipe de Gaspé Beaubien took on the endeavor to own and run his own business after having been the director of the World Expo 67 in Montreal.

In the late 60’s he worked to position himself in the radio and television industry so that at first he had a piece of the ownership which would develop into an opportunity to own and operate Telemedia.

Internal Publications

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