QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 80 - Page 17

Celebrating the first Scottish Family Business week at East Links Family Park, East Lothian. L-R: Grant Bell, owner of East Links Family Park; Dr Claire Seaman, Reader in Enterprise & Business; and Richard Bent, Senior Lecturer in Enterprise & Business at QMU This new research is raising awareness of the impact of poor succession, lack of exit strategies, failure to transfer a family business successfully from one generation to another and how this could be damaging the Scottish economy. In 2012, 17,385 new enterprises were set up in Scotland, but 16,760 of these have now ceased to exist. A number of these business closures resulted from failed business succession. Surprisingly, the survival rate of new businesses after five years is around 35-50%. In contrast, the survival rate of business transfers is around 90-96%. The research is also beginning to show that transferred businesses outperform new start-ups in terms of turnover, profit, innovation and employment. QMU is working with a number of partners in an effort to discuss these issues, influence thinking on future policy and practice and to identify practical interventions. The conclusion of the research suggests that more focus needs to be placed on successful family business and SME transfer to help maintain and boost Scotland’s economy. Researchers agree that improved infrastructure and support mechanisms can help protect jobs, increase employment, widen business ownership and maintain existing local supply chains. Dr Claire Seaman, Reader in Enterprise & Family Business at QMU, said: “Feedback from this latest study has confirmed that family businesses are crying out for the right kind of support to help them succeed beyond the first generation. “This collaborative research has explored ways of improving the growth and sustainability of Scottish SM Es and family businesses, but more specialist support is required. “If we want to change thinking and practice and improve business succession across these businesses, we need an integrated approach to learning, research and influencing policy.” ❒ QMYOU / Sustainable Business 17