Unique Program Helps Young Professionals Contribute to Growth of Family Businesses

April 14, 2016

Here is an opportunity to build master strategies for sustaining and globalizing your family’s business over generations, while building a pre-eminent international network. Participants will be immersed in cross-cultural and experiential modules in both the US and China, and learn from the experiences of family business owners and executives from both leading Chinese and US companies.

Calvin Smith yearned to know how he could contribute more effectively to the family-owned discount merchandise supplier for which he worked as a vice president of business development.

He found the answer in CKGSB’s Global Emerging Leaders in Family Enterprise (GEL) program. Running July 10-24, GEL is a select leadership development opportunity for entrepreneurs from American, Chinese and global family enterprises. Calvin, a 30-year-old Asian American, leveraged the insights he took away from the course to help him gain a foothold in the global economy, raising his profile in the eyes of the company’s founders and president.

“After going through the program, I met with one of my Chinese manufacturers, and I knew how to interact with him better,” Calvin said. “I learned how to develop my relations better. I now can talk with the family better and establish myself as someone they can rely on for years to come.”

Calvin gained a deeper understanding of key cross-cultural relationships via the wisdom and experience of the GEL program’s experts, including successful entrepreneurs, global business leaders and leading faculty from CKGSB and Cornell University. By grasping more firmly how business is done in China, Calvin advanced quickly in his expansion of his global network.

Rising value

The GEL program’s value is rising as problems confronting family businesses have implications for success in the years ahead. A key challenge is finding ways to make both the business and the family more professional. Executives must learn to lead with feeling as well as with intelligence. Other challenges involve finding ways to manage skills shortages, innovation and governance.

By taking the GEL program, a young leader can:

  • Emerge as an entrepreneur, grow as a business leader and define a future in the global economy
  • Develop succession strategies for sustaining an enterprise over generations
  • Expand a global business network
  • Explore the commercial and cultural differences between China and the US
  • Experience peer-to-peer learning and exchange of best practices

With family-owned businesses expected to represent nearly 40 percent of the world’s large enterprises by 2025, the GEL program will help a range of family leaders – from next-generation leaders representing family enterprises from the US, China and elsewhere, to young professionals working in global corporations, to those seeking to network with high-achieving entrepreneurs and family business leaders.

Indispensable resources

If you are like Calvin, you’ll be glad you enrolled in CKGSB’s GEL program. In a fiercely competitive, global marketplace, finding the most effective ways to help the company sustain both wealth and tradition makes the program’s resources indispensable.

For further information, please contact Alan Chen at or +1-646-627-7735; or go to

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