The WIFU defines ownership competence and ownership competence development as follows:
Ownership competence encompasses all the abilities and skills belonging to a family business’s current and potential shareholders who need to actively exercise their ownership function as well as their rights and duties within the owning family. It also involves the ability to deal successfully with previously unknown situations in the company and the owning family.
Ownership competence development encompasses all the activities that members of a business family undertake to expedite the acquisition and training of expertise and to assist family business in gathering the abilities and experience to serve them in fulfilling their roles as shareholders of the family business. Included in this understanding are family members of the owning family who hold no shares in the family business (yet) or play no key roles in upbringing.