The Facts

  • There are around 60,000 family businesses in Scotland
  • Family businesses in Scotland are responsible for roughly half the GDP created by private enterprise
  • 69% of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in Scotland are family-owned (Omnibus Survey of Small Businesses in Scotland 2002)
  • 61% of Scottish businesses are over 11 years old. (Omnibus Survey of Small Businesses in Scotland 2002)
    54% of Scottish businesses are still controlled by the founding generation. (Omnibus Survey of Small Businesses in Scotland 2002)
  • During a five year period studied the Family Business Index outperformed the FTSE All Share Index by 40% (Institute for Family Business and Professor Panikkos Poutziouris, Manchester Business School)
  • 57% of family firms have no defined plan for succession although 39% expect the CEO to retire or leave within the coming years. (‘Leadership, Culture and Change in UK Family Firms’ London Business School 2003)
  • Most conflicts in family firms arise from family issues such as succession or family relationships. (Institute for Family Business National Conference Survey 2005)
  • 45% of the UK’s GDP is produced by family enterprises. (Small and medium sized enterprise statistics for the UK 1996)
    50% of the private sector workforce in Scotland is employed by family businesses. (Stoy Hayward (1989).Staying the Course: Survival Characteristics of Family Owned Business)
  • Only 33% of family businesses survive into the second generation
  • Only 9% of family businesses survive into the third generation
  • Most family businesses fail for family and not business-related issues
  • Due to disillusionment, 46% of owners of second or later generation firms were prepared to dissuade their children from setting up in business (YouGov/Sage Business Heartbeat survey, 2004)
  • The UK’s family business sector accounts for roughly two thirds of all companies and approximately half the UK’s private economic activity and employment
  • Family firms make up two thirds of businesses worldwide and 75% of businesses in the EU (The Family Enterprise Institute)
  • Women are more likely to head the family business compared with the general trend in firms




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