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

A Collaborative Research Project between NYUAD & Tharawat Family Business Forum
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Our Research Project

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


Our Goals

Understand The History

Empirical academic research is being conducted to help explore the impact of family businesses on the region’s economy throughout time

Highlight the Legacy

With our research, we aim to highlight the legacy and economic impact of selected family businesses on the region and beyond

Preserve the Heritage

We are in the process of building the first archive of family businesses in the MENASA, which will produce an invaluable repository for researchers and practitioners

Inspire the

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

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


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.


Case Studies

Our publications consist of a series of case studies which explore the historical evolution of selected leading family businesses in the MENASA region. The historical narratives  shed a light on the businesses' multi-generational quest for longevity in spite of internal and contextual challenges.

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