The past few years have been challenging for businesses of all sizes and family businesses are no different. However, for this sector of the business community, navigating their way through the challenges associated with a downturn and their ability to adapt to the changing environment has ensured their continued contribution to regional economies and the EU as a whole.
The inaugural Family Business Barometer indicates that family businesses remain confident in their ability not only to survive the current economic conditions, but to also take advantage of opportunities for continued growth, investment, and success. The business environment is changing. But the general vision, principles,and foundations of family businesses persevere.
Family Business Barometer
Their long-term focus is highlighted through the majority of respondents indicating that they have a strategic investment plan for their business ranging from investing in internationalisation, diversification and continued development of the core business. In addition, positively, the respondents see a greater opportunity in Europe.
Although the Barometer suggests that the picture is positive for the future, significant challenges remain. Namely, lending to family businesses remains difficult, highlighted by just over half the respondents noting that they have experienced complications in accessing finance.
Secondly, the Barometer suggests that the respondents see that there is significant room for improvement with regards to the regulatory framework in which family businesses operate. Family businesses will remain in a strong position as markets continue to stabilise and they will continue to make their crucial contribution to renewed in Europe.
Family Businesses remain confident
“The results of this 1st edition are encouraging. Family companies have a positive outlook for the future and they are investing in Europe. Exercises like this one, reinforce the reality that family companies are a stable and responsible platform for growth in Europe. But, we must not ignore the other results from the Barometer, namely the challenges that remain.
Lending to the real economy must be normalised and family businesses are still impeded by obstacles that are present in the regulatory environment. We hope that surveys such as the Family Business Barometer can bring insight into this crucial sector, which we see as the backbone of the European economy.” – Roger Pedder, EFB President
Opportunities for continued growth, investment, and success
This collaboration has provided an insight into the confidence of the family business communities across Europe, and it is refreshing to see whilst the economic landscape has been difficult, family businesses have remained confident and continued to contribute to the regional economies.
These businesses are not only surviving but also taking advantages of opportunities for continued growth, investment and success. There continues to be great growth opportunities not only with respect to increasing investment in current markets but also expanding into other European territories.
The European Family Business Barometer is based on the responses of an online survey from 600 finished questionnaires which were received from EFB Members across 14 European countries; this first edition was open from July to September 2013. The survey will be conducted twice a year to measure the changing issues facing family businesses.
The next Barometer results will be published in mid-2014.
We hope you enjoy reading the first survey which we hope has, and will, lead to a better understanding of this crucial but often unreported part of Europe’s economy.
Download the European Family Business Barometer (PDF 1.37MB) now.