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Introduction

The Center holds invitational roundtables which bring together world-renowned academics, practitioners and family business members to create an opportunity to explore new research topics of greater relevance. The roundtable is also a great opportunity for participants to learn from each other, network with people who face similar issues, and compare notes on how to solve these issues with people from different cultural backgrounds.

The Center held three roundtables in 2009, 2011 and 2012. The 2009 HKUST Asian Family Business Roundtable attracted over 120 participants from Asia and North America and was the largest academic-practitioner conference on family business in Asia that time. The Roundtable covered the differences between the East and the West in succession planning, family governance, professional managers in family businesses, financing growth and the uniqueness of Asian family businesses. There was also a research talk on private wealth management.

The 2011 Asian Entrepreneurship Roundtable focused on Asian entrepreneurship and followed the format of the 2009 event. Major discussion topics included:

1) Are Asian Entrepreneurs Really Different?
2) Financing Growth for Asian Entrepreneurs;
3) Intrapreneurship (Corporate Entrepreneurship) in Asia; and
4) Challenges of Globalizing Asian Entrepreneurial Businesses. Mr. Jack Ma of Alibaba spoke in the cocktail reception.

The 2012 Family Business and Entrepreneurship Roundtable was co-organized by the Center and the World Economic Forum, with a primary focus on Greater China. Over 140 family business owners and entrepreneurs with an ethnic Chinese background and academics attended this event. Sessions included:

1) Challenges in Ensuring Business sustainability
2) Breaking down Barriers to Business Sustainability;
3) Succession – A Dialogue between Two Generations; and
4) Is Academic Research Aligned with Business Realities