Founded in 2009, the non-profit WIFU Foundation is committed to promoting research, teaching and, in particular, practice transfer in the field of family entrepreneurship. Our most important supporters include around 80 family businesses from German-speaking countries. The focus of our activities is the acquisition, communication and dissemination of high-quality knowledge related to current issues affecting family businesses and business families. Our funds are used primarily to establish and maintain academic chairs, support research projects and award scholarships to young scientists.

One focus of our funding is to support the work of the Witten Institute for Family Business (WIFU), based at Witten/Herdecke University, through its three research and teaching areas of business administration, law and psychology/sociology. The WIFU has made significant contributions to cross-generational sustainability in family businesses through research and teaching over the last 25 years.

Another focus of our work is the organisation and execution of conferences and other events on topics related to family entrepreneurship. Practice-oriented knowledge and skills to promote succession in the management of family businesses within business families are developed through working groups, training courses and other formats. Our events are characterised by a protected framework, which creates a space for intimate and open exchanges. Finally, comprehensive and active public relations work for research results in the field of family entrepreneurship completes the range of our activities.

Detailed information can be found in the Foundation Statute:

Foundation statute (available in German)


The contact person for sponsoring the WIFU Foundation is:

Prof. Dr. Tom A. Rüsen

Phone: +49 2302 926 510

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