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Nearly three in five UK family businesses say their long term goal is to contribute to the community

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Nearly three in five UK family businesses say their long term goal is to contribute to the community and leave a positive legacy- PwC Survey

Optimistic about their future growth, nearly three in five (58%) family businesses in the UK say their long term goal is to contribute to their local community and leave a positive legacy, according to PwC’s latest family business survey. The 9th bi-annual global survey interviewed 130 UK family business members from director level through to owner, with 83% saying they expect growth over the next five years, 18% expect growth to be quick and aggressive.

The survey reveals businesses are recognising the importance of embracing technology with more than half (53%) of respondents believing their business will step up their digital capabilities over the next two years. Additionally, the number of business who said they feel vulnerable to digital disruption has almost doubled to 42% from 23% two years ago. More than half, 54%, feel vulnerable to a cyber attack.

Hannah Harris, family business leader at PwC, said: “UK family businesses play an incredibly important role in both the economy and society. Our survey showed that three quarters are involved in philanthropic activities beyond giving money to good causes, using their expertise to help their local communities. Many run apprenticeship schemes training up the next generation of the UK workforce. Building a legacy for future generations, they are able to invest long term and for over half, their long term goals include to be environmentally sustainable.

“Until recently the focus for many family businesses has been to improve their processes, become more efficient and better meet their customers’ needs. Our survey suggests this is changing. Family businesses realise they need to adapt to new sources of disruption, from emerging technologies through to societal trends around well-being and the environment. Given that many successful family businesses are already agile and able to make decisions quickly, this may feel more of an adjustment than a wholesale change.”

When asked what challenges family businesses were facing over the next two years, being able to access the right skills was the number one concern with 61% of respondents mentioning this as a challenge. This is  followed by the economy 57%, the need to innovate 55% and Brexit 52%. Recognising they may need additional sources of funding and expertise to respond to these challenges, 22% would consider private equity in the future.

In terms of future business goals, being able to attract and retain the best talent is the highest priority for UK family businesses at 92% before improving profitability at 74% and offering compelling rewards to employees at 64%.




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