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More families start businesses as UK economic recovery continues

Entrepreneurial families in the UK generated approximately £540 billion (€654 billion) in revenues in 2013, adding £180 billion in gross value to the economy, and this figure is set to keep on rising, according to recent research.

Entrepreneurial families in the UK generated approximately £540 billion (€654 billion) in revenues in 2013, adding £180 billion in gross value to the economy, and this figure is set to keep on rising, according to recent research.

In the report Family affair: Spotlight on UK family SMEs, UK-based bank Barclays found there were 2.42 million first-generation, family-controlled small to medium-sized firms (SMEs), having climbed back from a low of 2.32 million in 2011 after the financial crisis.

The number of first-generation, family-controlled SMEs stood at an all-time high of 2.45 million in 2008, but Barclays reckoned if the economic recovery continues their numbers could reach 2.65 million by 2018.

Eighty-one per cent of all UK family SMEs were in their first generation in 2013 and accounted for just under half of all SMEs in the UK – their combined revenues account for 16% of total private sector SME turnover.

At the moment, these types of firms employ 5.5 million people, accounting for more jobs than the construction and production sectors combined, a figure that could be as much as 6 million by 2018.

Enterprises with no employees generated the most employment in the form of working owners, while firms with between one and nine employees contributed the most to the total revenues of these types of firms – £174 billion or 32% of the total. 

There were only 6,500 first-generation firms classified as medium sized, companies with annual revenues lower than £25.9 million and fewer than 250 employees, but they created 620,000 jobs – 23% of total SME employment, which was 14.4 million in 2013. 

Rebecca McNeil, director of business lending at Barclay Business, said: "We believe the end of the recession is paving the way for dynamic family firms who want to run businesses they are passionate about."

The research was conducted by independent by Cebr, and independent business research consultancy, using data gathered by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.  

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