Home Economy WHY FAMILY BUSINESSES DIE & CHANGE OF GUARDS – Modernization Giving Room...

WHY FAMILY BUSINESSES DIE & CHANGE OF GUARDS – Modernization Giving Room to the Female Gender.


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A KPMG REPORT titled: ‘Nigerian Family Business Barometer contains insights from family businesses across Nigeria and draws comparisons and conclusions between the Nigerian, African and European family business community. A common factor in the document is the finding that: ‘’The future of the family members  maintaining the independent nature of the family business and the preservation of family unity depends on the growth of the family business and its capacity to generate sufficient profit for all its members.’’ Two very interesting issues arise in this account and they are: (i) Ownership and operational patterns of family businesses and (ii) collapse of several thriving family businesses after the death of their owners. What is a family business? According to a publication by Conway Centre for Family Business, ‘’a family business is a commercial organization in which decision-making is influenced by multiple generations of a family, related by blood or marriage or adoption, who has both the ability to influence the vision of the business and the willingness to use this ability to pursue distinctive goals. Record shows that there are 5.5 million family businesses in the United States.  It is to be noted that this definition is silent on gender, apparently because of the advancements and modernization recorded in that society. SITUATION IN DEVELOPED ECONOMIES:  Those who built family businesses and whose names still ring a bell after decades of passing on include John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.  Studies indicate that family businesses account for 64 percent of United States gross domestic product, generate 62 percent of the country’s employment, and account for 78 percent of all new job creation. Family-owned businesses are the backbone of the American economy.  (Family Business Facts – Conway Center for Family Business) Examples of family businesses are: Cargill, noted as the largest private corporation in the United States; WalMart, Facebook, Oracle, Samsung, Volkswagen, and Koch Industries. ENCOURAGING  STORIES  FROM NIGERIA: According to Forbes, the revenue of Koch Industries in 2017 was US$100 billion. Bill Gates, the world’s richest man and the current highest giver to any charity cause in the world, and his wife Melinda are positioning their children Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe to inherit their business empire not too long from now. The Nigerian equivalent is Aliko Dangote, the richest black man in the world, who is also positioning his daughters – Halima, Mariya, and Fatima to succeed him in his business empire.  I think Aliko Dangote deserves a…

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