There was much to take away from a valuable Workshop 6

25 May 2023

The sixth EWEMA workshop held on 23 and 25 May was a very exciting event, which saw a massive turnout of 150 participants from 30 countries. The two-hour online event was moderated by our formidable task leaders Eleni Tzoka-Stecka and Morten Møller, along with 4 other facilitators. The themes in focus were Family Business Succession and Business Transfer in the MSME sector.

The expert guest speakers were:

  • Oscar Howell and Susanne Grimm (Family Business owners) – they broadened our minds by describing the most important aspects of family business succession, including how to prepare the family business for succession, and the problems/obstacles linked to succession in family businesses.
  • Albert Adamczewski (Rudopal) shared his family business’ recipe for achieving a successful succession.
  • Adrià Pascual (Reempresa)’s presentation reaffirmed for us the prerequisites in business transfers for SMEs.
  • Agnieszka Simon Adamczewska’s reminded us of how to objectively assess value of a business.
  • Ewelina Pisarczyk (Company Owner, Majster-Pol) opened our eyes to a real case where instead of succession, a family business opts for business transfer.

Preparation materials including instructions on each specific topic were sent to participants beforehand. Likewise, all the resulting materials and presentations were sent to participants after the workshop. As a prescribed assignment, participants were sent a Family Business Succession Check List to fill in and elaborate using the Padlet application. The focus groups debated various ways of mentoring a family business through succession, including awareness of the issues that can affect the succession process, red flags, and troubleshooting points.

They also received tools for company evaluation and the RESC-EWE toolkit as helpful hand-outs prior to the event. In addition to explaining how to prepare a company for sale and the mechanisms/actions to support the owner in the process of selling the company, the Business transfer session addressed the following key questions: 1.) What are the most frequent needs of the companies for sale? 2.) What kind of basic service is necessary to prepare the company for sale? 3.) What is the measure of success? 4.) What is attractive for buyers? 5.) How can the mentor help company owner to sell the company?

The testimonial about the family business Majster-Pol, narrated the selling process, challenges, and external assistance experienced by the company. Defining success and regrets, including lessons learnt, was a highly enlightening part of the session. Participants exchanged ideas and insights with the owner about actions they would have proposed / action plans to prepare a company in a similar situation for sale in the best possible way.

The session on Company Valuation critically analysed how to assess a company’s worth using objective and efficient tools and methods, and how to present the results to the company owner. What role would a mentor have in this process? Participants were invited to analyse and apply the RescEWE MOOC toolkit.

Using the following effective methodologies, both days of the workshop ran smoothly:  Presentations, Focus Group Discussions moderated by trained facilitators, Brainstorming, Testimonials, Case studies. Furthermore, participants were excited to receive a list of practical tools and relevant organisations that help with business transfers. In line with past events, a satisfaction Evaluation Survey was distributed to participants to fill in at the end of the workshop.

With this intellectually enriching workshop completed, all participants felt confident in having enhanced knowledge and awareness of the challenges associated with mentoring companies facing succession and business transfer. They also came away with extra; new mentoring tools and a list of organisations that support succession and business transfers. As always, participants were encouraged to share their own experiences and best practices with and to jointly work on the given case studies.

In sum, WS6 was very insightful especially thanks to the real cases delivered, and not least, the active participation of so many professionals who attended from across Europe. We can’t wait to see what the seventh workshop holds!

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