Small businesses loose their family flavour

Research by Grant Thornton found that small and medium-sized businesses, under 10 years old, are far less family-oriented than those that have been in business for over a decade.

According to GT, less than half of the new upstarts in the UK consider themselves family-run compared to nearly two thirds of older firms.

And only 5% of younger businesses expect to pass on their companies to family members, compared with 22% of older businesses.

The shift in attitude points to younger entrepreneurs’ openness to outside investors.

Andrew Godfrey, Grant Thornton’s head of International and European services, said: ‘Younger firms clearly aspire to build capital for their owners more quickly than in the past, rather than building the traditional ‘family’ business to hand on to the next generation.

‘They are therefore more open to outside finance and outside shareholding if that will help achieve their goal.’

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