The Niagara University Family Business Center was established in 2003. The center is dedicated to serving the needs of family and privately owned businesses in Western New York through the exchange of knowledge. The center's activities are member-driven and the center is run for and by its business members.

Family Business Center Monthly Forum - Giancarlo's


The center's mission is to develop and exchange relevant information on family business issues in order to strengthen the stability and long-term viability of family and privately owned businesses through education, research and service. A sampling of the center’s activities include:

  • Speakers series and seminars on family business issues.
  • Maintaining a library of family business materials including current research on family business.
  • Consulting support for local family-owned businesses.
  • Support for faculty and student research on family business issues.
  • Development of curriculum to enhance student learning in the areas of entrepreneurship and family-owned business issues.

More than 90 percent of all American businesses are owned and operated by families. Based on recent studies, only one-third of family owned businesses will survive to the next generation and only 10 percent will survive transfer to a second generation.  

  • 90% feel they play an important role in the stability of the U.S. economy.
  • 80% to 90% of all North American businesses are owned and operated by families.                                        
  • 76% will pass the business on to the next generation.  
  • 66% are concerned about the general economic situations over the next five years.
  • 64% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is through family businesses.
  • 62% of the nations workforce are employed by family businesses.
  • 54% are planning to sell their goods abroad, up from 21 percent only five years ago.
  • 46% are having challenges finding skilled workers.
  • 42% of family businesses believe they take on greater risk than other types of businesses.
  • 39% are “very confident” of revenue growth over the next five years.
  • 25% of the current ownership of family-owned businesses will change hands in the next five years.

(Data obtained from the PwC Family Business Survey 2012/2013)

Niagara University's College of Business Administration joins a network of over 60 colleges and universities who have established a family business center to assist businesses in their geographic area.