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Entrepreneurs are most likely to come from family businesses

Sixty per cent of successful entrepreneurs come from a family that has a history of business ownership, according to a new report released by BNP Paribas Wealth Management, and the effect is especially strong in emerging markets.

The trend is most prevalent in Taiwan, Spain, Poland, the Gulf countries, and Turkey, where more than 75% have a family legacy of entrepreneurialism.

The trend is shifting in younger generations, however, and entrepreneurs in developed economies are also less likely to come from family business backgrounds.

Next gens currently setting out on their own path include Artsper co-founder Hugo Mulliez, a third gen of French supermarket empire Auchan, and Coralie Zaccar, who has set up a microfinance division within her family’s insurance business, Commercial Insurance.

The inaugural addition of the Global Entrepreneurialism Report found the average entrepreneur considers starting a business at the age of 30, though this ranges from 25 in the Middle East to 33 in the US. It then takes them two years to launch the venture.

Financial services, retail and technology were the preferred industries, each accounting for approximately 15% of entrepreneurial activity.

According to the report, entrepreneurial family members (which could include parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family) often provided starting capital, but also acted as a source of encouragement.

A family history of business ownership also cleared the emotional path for potential entrepreneurs to choose a more risky career path than a profession such as a doctor, lawyer or banker.

Female entrepreneurs were more likely to come from an entrepreneurial background at 62%, compared to 59% for males, but they matched their male counterparts on factors such as age and time it took them to start the business.

The report says there was a “notable lack of confidence around becoming a committed entrepreneur among females”. The report encouraged women that come from a family business background to support female entrepreneurs who do not.

Once established as entrepreneurs, women typically launch more businesses and see average turnover of $9.1 million – $700,000 more than the male average.

Countries where entrepreneurs were least likely to come from a family business background include USA, UK, Germany, Belgium and France.

Entrepreneurs under the age of 50 were also less likely to have a familial connection to a family business, with just 48.3% coming from this background compared to 64.2% in those aged over 50.

A study released by Oracle Capital earlier this year found entrepreneurs were becoming the new face of family offices, changing the face of the sector, which has traditionally been dominated by multi-generational wealth.

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