Family Businesses: the backbone of the British Economy

I was pleased to be invited to the Institute for Family Business (IFB) Annual Conference last week at the House of Commons, to celebrate the contribution that family businesses in the UK make to the whole economy.

Often family businesses are thought of as corner shops, or bakers, or perhaps a local car dealer which all are important contributors to the local and national economy, but the benefits of family firms run far wider than that.

house of commonsAs Sajid David MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, who himself is from a family business, along with John Stevenson MP, who both spoke at the event, pointed out there are many large family owned businesses such as Warburton’s and Clark’s shoes to name just two nationally known examples.

Whether big or small, these businesses combined contribute over £10Billion to the UK economy! This is a staggering figure.

There are now more than three million family businesses in the UK which between them generate almost 9.5 Million jobs, which in turn is 25% of GDP.

Over 60% of private businesses in this country are family owned which is a surprising number and one I think very few family businesses realise, let alone the wider business community.

I’ve always said family businesses either work very well, or not at all, and in my view and experience they only work when every family member wants them too. Life is too short to spend your days, and therefore your life, doing something you don’t want to do, but if the business interests you then there’s nothing better than being part of a family business and working with people you know you can trust 100%.

If you run a family business, which is basically defined as a business with two or more family members owning or controlling the majority of the business, take a look at some of the events taking place throughout the year with the IFB and other organisations, there’s lots of support and tips from people in similar situations to that which you might find yourself in running your own family business, and it’s a great community to be part of; the wider Family business of the U.K. Economy.

One Comment

  • Paul Andrews

    1st December 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Great piece Leon and it is always great to have ambassadors for the sector like you.

    With over 3 million family firms in the UK they have not always been given the credit and recognition they deserve and at Family Business United we are delighted to champion the sector, share resources, knowledge and insights through our award-winning website and to host events for family firms of all sectors and sizes to attend.

    Family businesses are essentially what put the GREAT into BRITAIN!


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