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When it comes to different ways of embarking on entrepreneurship, the focus is still on start-ups. Starting a company by the means of a takeover tends to be given second-rate treatment, this refers to higher education, politics, and media. Despite the fact that 1) the survival rate of business formations through business transfers is higher compared to that of new venture creations and 2) most jobs are created by well established rather than newly created small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This is a worrying situation against the very small number of students that are interested in taking over a company - referring to both a family company or an external company - and the increasing number of SMEs waiting to be transferred on a worldwide level. Companies located in remote regions have a particularly hard time finding a successor/buyer. Too many unsuccessful takeovers pose a risk to the sustainability of entire regions, even countries.

Against this backdrop, there is a pressing need for new and innovative approaches to/solutions on SME business transfers in order to prevent the decline of regions. Therefore, this special session invites societal actors to share their creative and innovative ideas on how to address present and future challenges regarding SME business transfers. “Out of the box” thinking is strongly encouraged.          

Chairs: Prof. Susanne Durst & Ann Svensson, (co-chair), School of Business, Economics and IT, University West, Sweden


Updated by Rebecca Olsson