Potential Methods for Achieving the Objective of the UKFBA

In co-operation with member organisations operating in the same area:
  • Develop communication and interchange between Business Families, Family Business Shareholders, Directors, Senior Managers, Professionals and Advisors serving the Sector, Academics, Researchers working within the Sector, Membership Organisations, Groups, Forums, etc. This is an Association for the mutual benefit, advantage, education and growth of the Family Business Sector, people within it and businesses and organisations working with it; it is not primarily a forum for one party to sell to another.
  • Encourage all those involved to help each other.
  • Make available services, free or paid for as appropriate to need and choice, specifically for Family Businesses.
  • Persuade Family Businesses to follow best practice for their own benefit.
  • Extend the longevity of Family Business.
  • Parties with services to sell to other members will be able to indicate their nature in ‘profiles’ (not currently available on Ning) but selling of services is by those who need it asking for assistance, never by offering it unprompted to those who might need it.
  • Raise awareness of the economic, social and human wellbeing and importance of family businesses i.e. their social as well as financial capital
  • Campaign for recognition of family businesses as a distinct, positive force for society and therefore deserving of support
  • Campaign for family businesses to be at the heart of an economy focused on the human-scale and humanely led with localism as key values where a sense of community and belonging is nurtured.
  • Encourage the development of education and training specifically for family business people. This should include ‘ownership education’ and ‘entrepreneurship education’.
  • A ' Body of Knowledge' will be established to which any important document relevant to family business could be posted after it had been subjected to a 'filtration system'.  This system would be operated by the Executive who would review every proposed posting to ensure that it is of high quality and sufficiently unique.
  • A database of all relevant research work that has been carried out by universities and business schools throughout the United Kingdom would be set up with free availability to all.
  • The Association will promote better dialogue between the family business sector and the government and help convey the concerns faced by the sector into the policy consultation processes. This will have an important role to play by stepping up contacts with policy makers and disseminating information to them and to the public. This organisation will operate ‘cross-borders’ to encourage exchanges between countries with a long experience in the field.
  • The Association will seek to change the rather negative and unattractive image of family businesses in the labour market. More focus will be placed on improving communication of the real potential that family companies represent for people in the labour market.
  • The Association will encourage Family Businesses themselves to play the essential role in overcoming the challenges identified. They should take an active role in all efforts to raise awareness of the importance of the sector, by using solid and convincing information and by pushing for the production of sound and comparable data. The key point is to make policy makers (at all levels) aware of the phenomenon, its importance, and the need to address the wide range of specific challenges that family firms face.
  • The Organisation should introduce free assistance based on ‘Best Practice’ in the Final Report of the Expert Group under Planning business transfers.
  • Universities, Business Schools and Colleges should introduce free seminars and training similar to those examples under ‘Best Practice’ Planning business transfers.
  • The Organisation should set up expert groups specifically to debate the issue of family businesses, to bring it up the political agenda and to come up with proposals to improve the business environment for family firms. See ‘Best Practice’ Lobbying / policy advice / awareness raising.
  • Academic institutions should consider introducing initiatives targeting current and future owners/managers of family firms. Many good examples already exist as in the ‘Best Practice’ Management / Entrepreneurship / Ownership-specific education
  • The Organisation should make available ‘governance codes for family businesses’ as in the examples given in ‘Best Practice’ Family governance.

European Commission, Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry. (2009)  “Final Report of the Expert Group”“Overview of Family-Business-Relevant Issues: Research, Networks, Policy Measures and Existing Standards”. Brussels, EC.

 

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