Perspectives from ISB

At one point of time passing on the family business to the next generation was considered important. It involved preservation of the family legacy and heritage. It seems, times are changing and with them the priorities are changing as well. Families are slowly recognizing the entrepreneurial orientation of their next generation. Hence rather than forcing a business on them, families prefer to provide the next generation with an endowment to start their own venture.

As per a recent study conducted by the Spectrem Group titled Serving Business Owners, only 25 percent said they planned to pass the business on to their family, with 43 percent saying the plan was to sell the business, perhaps to spread the wealth among family members for their personal business plans. Only 4 percent plan to close down the business upon retirement. Male business owners are far more likely to sell their business (47 percent of males to just 30 percent for females). This study was conducted among 350 small and mid-sized business owners in the US having at least $1 million in net worth.