Skills, corruption among key challenges for family-owned businesses

Written By: Regina Manyara- Gitau

Skills, corruption among key challenges for family-owned businesses

Integration of strong values-led culture at family businesses has pushed growth of local family businesses to 74 percent compared to the global average of 89 percent.

This is according to latest Price Waterhouse Coopers Global Family Business Survey that also indicates that corruption, at 72 percent, is the key challenge for family-owned businesses alongside skills, cost of energy and raw materials as well as competition posed by international brands.

This year’s global survey saw family business leaders globally reporting robust health, with levels of growth at their highest level since 2007.

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Businesses in Kenya are more likely to say growth will be quick and aggressive at 30 percent versus 16 percent globally).

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International sales currently account for 26% of Kenyan family business turnover and is predicted to account for 30% in five years’ time.

Despite family businesses’ confidence and growth potential, the report cautions that the growth expectation is not always achieved.

According to Peter Ngahu, Country Senior Partner PwC Kenya; “While the aspiration is strong, focusing on strategic planning remains a blind spot for too many businesses. 48% say they have a formal mid-term strategic plan in place. 11% have no plan (lower than the global average of 21%). 

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The report further indicates that for many Kenyan family-owned businesses’ corruption, at 72%, is the key challenge followed by relevant skills, prices of energy and raw materials as well as competition posed by international brands.

The PwC Family Business Survey also contains insights into how the pace of technological change and generational differences are informing family businesses’ approach to legacy and succession planning.

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Two-thirds of Kenyan family-owned businesses feel they will have made significant steps in terms of digital capabilities in the next two years, which is slightly higher than the 57 percent who say this globally.

About 35 percent of businesses feel vulnerable to digital disruption and 59 percent of them are feel vulnerable to a cyber-attack.

Revenue is expected to continue growing for the vast majority of family-owned businesses, with 16 percent saying it will be “quick” and “aggressive”.


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