Embracing Innovation

Our annual Barometer, a joint-partnership between KPMG Enterprise and European Family Businesses (EFB), shows innovation and attracting new talent as a primary focus for family businesses. Now in its seventh edition, the survey received more than 1,500 responses from family business owners across Europe and proved that despite ongoing challenges, family businesses continue to build on the momentum of past strong economic growth and focus on driving innovation.

In this report, we see that Europe’s family businesses are confident about the future but must become more agile, innovate faster and attract top talent to remain competitive and continue to grow.

Several highlights emerged throughout the reports analysis, including:

  • 73 percent of respondents report that they are confident or very confident in their family business’ economic prospects over the next 12 months. About one in five (19.5 percent) are neutral and 6.04 percent are negative or very negative about the future.
  • While overall confidence is up across Europe, the UK was a notable exception, with confidence dropping from 83 percent in 2017 to 68 percent this year. With Brexit negotiations ongoing, UK family businesses are looking to the future with caution.
  • 64 percent of total respondents reported increased turnover over the past year. Only 11 percent of respondents reported decreased turnover in the past 12 months.
  • Improving profitability (49 percent); increasing turnover (38 percent); and attracting new talent (27 percent) are the top three priorities for the next 2 years.
  • The war for talent was ranked as a top challenge facing family businesses. This year 53 percent of respondents identified the war for talent as one of their top three concerns.
  • This compares to 43 percent in 2017 and 37 percent in 2016. Other top challenges this year included the increased cost of labor (36 percent) and political uncertainty (36 percent).
  • International expansion is being postponed. In this year’s survey, only 36 percent of respondents said they had increased their activities abroad over the past year — compared with 44 percent in 2017 and 65 percent in 2016.

Read the final report to gain access to the full analysis of the results and trends identified from the business families that completed the report.

Download the full report.