European Family Business Barometer

In this 5th edition of the European Family Business Barometer, European Family Businesses (EFB) and KPMG once again seek to bring an insight into the confidence levels of family businesses, the challenges affecting their everyday operations and the solutions they seek to ensure their development and sustainable growth. This year we see Europe’s family businesses demonstrate high confidence and strong resilience to external pressures and challenges.

Family businesses prove once again to be successful and resilient. This important market (Europe has approximately 14 million family owned companies providing over 60 million jobs in the private sector, Source: European Family Businesses) continues to demonstrate a high level of confidence and sustainable growth: 54% of surveyed family businesses report an increase in turnover in the previous year; 83% expect further growth in the coming year. However, disparities between companies of different sizes are obvious: among large companies, 74% have increased sales against 57% among mid-sized companies, and 47% among small companies.

Although family businesses are optimistic, there are still major challenges inhibiting their growth. The biggest concerns this year related to attracting and retaining talent and political uncertainties, both cited by 37% of respondents. The ‘war for talent’ has been steadily rising for the last three years (in 2013 it was not even among the top five), now reaching 1st place. A warning sign as difficulty to compete for the best talent places pressure on family businesses and may impede their further growth.

Overall, the Barometer indicates that despite the sluggish economic growth and recent nervousness within the European market, the family business community remains confident and optimistic about their outlook for the future.