Family businesses, typically small and medium enterprises (SMEs), are a critical backbone of the Singapore economy. Data from SPRING Singapore, the government enterprise agency, shows that SMEs form 99 percent of all enterprises in the country. They employ seven-in-10 workers and contribute over half of national gross domestic product. Besides creating jobs, family businesses also make important contributions to innovation.
Family enterprises face a unique set of operational challenges, which can determine their success or failure as businesses. This study – a joint effort by CPA Australia and KPMG – seeks to gain insights into family businesses, understand their owners and identify attributes that contribute to their success.
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Phase 1 comprised a survey of family businesses, which was conducted between August and September 2012. A report addressing important themes and key challenges for family business was published.
In this second phase, the study has produced a series of real-life family business case studies. These are based on in-depth interviews with the second or third generation leaders of Qian Hu Corp, iwa Design, FoodXervices Inc and Comfort Design, who shared their experiences on:
- challenges they face as family businesses
- main sources of conflict and how they are effectively managed
- governance practices
- succession planning
- entrepreneurship and innovation