A Collaborative Research Project between New York University Abu Dhabi & Tharawat Family Business Forum

Family Business Histories

Our research explores the historical impact of family-owned businesses on the economy, culture, and society in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA). We seek to facilitate an understanding into the growth and transformations of family businesses, while preserving the legacies of the founding entrepreneurs and their successors.

Photo Credit: Bab Iddriss, crossing in Beirut, 1945 July, Library of Congress

Family Business Histories

Our research explores the historical impact of family-owned businesses on the economy, culture, and society in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA). We seek to facilitate an understanding into the growth and transformations of family businesses, while preserving the legacies of the founding entrepreneurs and their successors.

Photo Credit: Port Said – Main Street, Akkasah Center for Photography

Family Business Histories

Our research explores the historical impact of family-owned businesses on the economy, culture, and society in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA). We seek to facilitate an understanding into the growth and transformations of family businesses, while preserving the legacies of the founding entrepreneurs and their successors.

Photo Credit: Port Said – The Harbour, Akkasah Center for Photography

Our Goals

Understand the History

Understand the History

Empirical research to explore the impact of family businesses on the region’s economy throughout time

Highlight the Legacy

Highlight the Legacy

We aim to highlight the legacy and economic impact of selected family businesses on the region and beyond

Preserve the Heritage

Preserve the Heritage

We are building the first archive of family businesses in the MENASA—an invaluable repository for researchers

Preserve the Heritage

Inspire the Future

Our research findings analyze family business practices and build sustainable models for the future

By the Numbers

%

of global GDP is estimated to be generated by family-owned enterprises

%

of Middle Eastern economies' GDP is generated by family-owned companies

%

of workforce in the Middle East is employed by family businesses

Our Latest Publications

Our research offers ground-breaking insights into historical transformations witnessed by family businesses in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA).

Why Family Business Histories?

Family Businesses are the pillars of MENASA economies and their sustainability is crucial to the region.

We believe that historical understanding
and shared identity is key for strategic vision, and we see in the history of family businesses an opportunity to learn from the challenges overcome by founders and leaders in an effort to inspire the future.

Photo credit: Clock Tower roundabout on Corniche Street. Abu Dhabi, UAE, 1970s. Zaki Nusseibeh Collection, Akkasah Center for Photography.