N&Q: Family businesses and what make them grow; economic contribution of family businesses


Internationalization fuels family business growth

Family businesses are more likely to grow if they internationalising their businesses, says the latest edition of the AUB Observatory analysis on Italian family businesses. The study looked at family businesses with revenues of €20 million and more, which in Italy comprises 10,400 companies with total revenues of €804 billion, and 2.3 million employees. Guido Corbetta, a family business professor at Bocconi University and one of the authors of the report, said that many family businesses among this group were accelerating their foreign investment, with a particular emphasis on Asia. And this is fueling their growth. The report also found that many Italian family businesses are performing much better than the have in the recent past, with levels of investment returning to levels achieved before the financial crisis of 2008.

The UK’s private sector is driven by family businesses

How important are family businesses to the UK economy? Huge, but underappreciated, says the Institute of Family Business, the local chapter of the Family Business Network. UK family businesses comprise 87% of private sector activity and make revenues of more than £1.4 trillion annually, according to the annual UK Family Business Sector Report, compiled by Oxford Economics for the Institute for Family Business Research Foundation. Last year family businesses in the UK were creating 800 jobs each day, and generate a fifth of the UK’s revenues. Despite their massive value to the UK economy, the IFB reckons they should be appreciated more by policymakers.