Contributing to 60% of GCC’s GDP, family businesses to be honoured for generational success

  • Family Business Council Gulf launches region’s first Family Business Awards
  • Recognitions in four categories: SME Family Business, Non-Family Executive, NexGen Venture and NexGen Innovation

Dubai, UAE: The Family Business Council Gulf (FBCG) has unveiled the first ‘Family Business Awards’ in the GCC region to honour organisations for their continued success across generations. The awards highlight the contribution of family-owned businesses that add to about 60 per cent of the gross domestic product of the GCC and employ about 80 per cent of the labour force. 

Open for all entities in the GCC that are part of a family-owned business and at least in the second generation, the awards are presented in four categories – SME Family Business, Non-Family Executive, NexGen Venture and NexGen Innovation. 

The winners will receive their award at the FBCG Awards Ceremony and can attend FBCG’s member-only Annual Summit and gala dinner. They will also have exclusive access to select FBCG events, activities, and education programs for one year. 

Businesses can nominate or self-nominate for the categories by June 30, 2021 through and learn more about the specific eligibility criteria. While the SME Family Business and Non-Family Executive categories will be evaluated by a special jury headed by Hind Bahwan, Chairperson of Bahwan CyberTek Group, the NexGen Venture and NexGen Innovation will be chosen by the FBCG Board chaired by Omar K. Alghanim and other Board members. 

The other jury members include international and regional academics Dr. Bridget Kustin, Research Fellow and Qualitative Lead, Oxford Ownership Project at University of Oxford and Dr. Rodrigo Basco, Associate Professor and Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business at AUS; Alexis Du Roy De Blicquy, CEO of FBN International; Fadi Hammadeh, General Counsel of Al-Futtaim Group and next generation family business leaders Lulwa Al Soudairy from Saudi Arabia and Rahma Al Barwani from Oman. 

Announcing the awards, Hind Bahwan said: “The goal of the Family Business Awards programme is to recognise family business champions that have navigated challenging times to continue to build their business and add value to the economy. The awards recognize the importance of family business to the GCC and puts the spotlight on family groups and teams that address generational challenges through rigorous planning and foresight, family unity and innovation and creativity.

Omar K. Alghanim, Chairman of Family Business Council Gulf, added: “While family businesses are the mainstay of the region, contributing significant value, creating jobs and launching innovative enterprises, their contribution has been seldom recognised. With the Family Business Awards, we are celebrating their success, in building thriving business models across generations. The pandemic has particularly highlighted the need for building local entrepreneurship, and the Awards will inspire new generations of entrepreneurs who can learn from the lessons of the established businesses as they pass their legacy to the new generation.”

Among the four categories, the award for SME Family Business aims to honour enterprises for their generational success, innovation and community impact. The award is open for a family-owned business with headquarters in the GCC and has fewer than 250 employees and/or less than US$70 million annual turnover. The enterprise must be in the second-generation or above. 

The award for Non-Family Executive Employee honours employees within a family firm who has demonstrated exceptional loyalty, commitment, and contribution to the business. Nominees must have over 10 years of service within a GCC-headquartered family business in the second generation or more. 

With entrepreneurial spirit as an essential quality for the next and future generations, the Next Generation Venture award honours a young individual who has launched a successful venture in the GCC within or outside their family business. The nominee must be aged 18 to 40 years, affiliated to a family business in the region with the venture either inside or outside the family firm. 

The Next Generation Innovation award celebrates the impact of a next generation family member who has helped drive innovation and digital transformation forward within the family business. Nominees must be between 18 to 40 years, part of a regional family business and must have demonstrated innovation within the firm. 

During the evaluation process, a shortlist of the top 10 entries will be finalised by end-July. The Award jury will review and evaluate the shortlist to select three finalists for each category. This will be followed by a finalists pitch to the jury, and the winners will be chosen per category. 

The awards serve as a perfect platform to take stock, benchmark and gain higher awareness strengths and areas of improvement validated by a panel of credible and knowledgeable family business academics and leaders.

About Family Business Council – Gulf:

The Family Business Council – Gulf (FBCG) is a private not-for-profit organisation aiming to strengthen family business governance and ensure their continuity over generations. The Council seeks to identify and address issues unique to the GCC region through research, education, capacity development and networking among peers. FBCG is a member of a worldwide organisation – the Family Business Network International (FBN) – the largest global network “by families, for families together across generation” representing 4,000 business family and 17,000 individuals worldwide.