March 29 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

Family businesses becoming more successful, shows IFB research

Family businesses becoming more successful

Family-run businesses in the UK are looking to expand after a successful year in the sector, according to research from the Institute for Family Business (IFB).

The research showed that family businesses make a significant contribution to the UK economy, making up 87 per cent of all private sector companies in the UK.


Currently, there are over 16,500 medium and large family businesses in the UK, employing over 11.9 million people. One in ten large UK businesses are now family-run.

Growth and expansion was found to be a top priority for family firms, with 49 per cent stating that they intend to expand within the next 12 months.

43 per cent said that they aim to expand by improving the skills of their employees, whilst 33 per cent plan to boost productivity by investing in new machinery and premises.


IFB Chairman Peter Armitage commented on the findings of the report, stating that it “sheds light on the sheer size and scale of the family business community”, and is an “important reminder of how vital family-run businesses are to the UK – serving as the backbone of our economy, with family firms making a phenomenal contribution across all sectors, industries and regions.”

He added that family businesses have “always been at the very heart of the UK economy”, and that based on the “steady rise in their recruitment and turnover, it is clear they are here to stay.”

“It’s encouraging to see family firms with such a buoyant attitude towards their future expansion – almost half of family SMEs expect to grow over the next two to three years,” he said. 

Claire Payne

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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