17.5 million from the Kamprad Foundation for researching ownership and entrepreneurship

Two CeFEO projects investigating foundation ownership and rural ownership have been financed by the Kamprad Foundation for stimulating entrepreneurship research for a living countryside.


This year, the Kamprad Family Foundation will distribute SEK 133 million to entrepreneurship research for a living countryside, of which SEK 17.5 million will go to 2 CeFEO projects. In total, 30 different projects at higher education institutions and research institutes in Sweden receive the money. The Foundation supports projects of high scientific quality. It is characterized by the fact that results clearly benefit "the many people". In addition to the two projects at CeFEO, Jönköping International Business School have been grated also 5.3 million for the project "Competence provision for innovation and entrepreneurship in rural areas", receiving a total of 23 million SEK.

Interdisciplinary project on entrepreneurship in Foundations

The first project is dedicated to "Terms and conditions for entrepreneurship in foundation form: long-term and sustainable development in rural areas?". The research group consists of Kajsa Haag (project manager, CeFEO), Massimo Baù (CeFEO) and Ulf Larsson Olaison (CeFEO), Hanna Almlöf (CeFEO & Linköping University), Katarina Olsson (Lund University), and two new Doctoral students. The project has been granted 9.5 million SEK.

The project aims to study the terms and conditions for entrepreneurship in foundation form, with the ambition to answer the question of whether and how a foundation can be used for long-term and responsible ownership of locally based business activities. This is an interdisciplinary project which combines law and business administration. The project investigates the regulation of foundations, how foundations are governed and, in turn, exercise ownership control, how the long-term goals of family businesses can be preserved through foundation formation and how foundations can contribute to socially sustainable development throughout Sweden.

"The project involves creating a Swedish long-term knowledge node on entrepreneurial foundations at the JIBS Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO). It is great to be involved in building such extensive knowledge about nutrition foundations! We will also link two doctoral students to the project and will start that recruitment as soon as possible," says Project Manager Kajsa Haag.

The role of ownership in the revitalization of rural companies

The first project is dedicated to "Revitalizing entrepreneurship in rural areas: the role of business ownership". The research group consists of Karin Hellerstedt (CeFEO), Lucia Naldi (CeFEO), Mattias Nordqvist (CeFEO & Stockholm School of Economics), and a new PostDoc. The project has been granted 8 million SEK.

Since the turn of the millennium, a worrying trend is that the increase in the average age of Swedish business owners and entrepreneurs has increased significantly – and is particularly large among rural entrepreneurs. At the same time, these regions are also grappling with other challenges, such as declining population and poorer proximity to service functions. What happens to companies owned and operated by entrepreneurs approaching retirement? The ageing population of rural entrepreneurs can lead to business closures and a reduction in entrepreneurship.

The project will study how rural businesses can survive in the long term and how they can develop by becoming less dependent on their current owners. "The project consists of four sub-studies to create an understanding of how different types of ownership can enable business development and survival in the long term. Through close cooperation with business representatives in the counties of Jönköping and Norrbotten, we will be able to conduct relevant research and help spread our results," says Project Manager Karin Hellerstedt. The project will be carried out in collaboration with regional stakeholders from Jönköping County and Norrbotten County.