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Poland’s family entrepreneurs outperform non-family rivals

Trust in family businesses remains high in Poland as does their attractiveness to employees, with willingness to work for a family enterprise rising 4% in 2018, new research suggests.

Trust in family businesses remains high in Poland as does their attractiveness to employees, with willingness to work for a family enterprise rising 4% in 2018, new research suggests.

The Poles on Family Business Report V report showed 43% of Polish consumers placed high or very high levels of trust in family business entrepreneurs, compared to 34% who trusted an individual entrepreneur, and just 28% who trusted a priest.

According to Poles, family business operators are deserving of trust on par with academic professors, teachers, and accountants.

Poland’s workforce is also continuing to see the benefits of working for or setting up their own family business, the survey of more than 1,000 Polish consumers suggests.

The report from Poland’s Fundacja Firmy Rodzinne - FFR (Family Business Foundation) showed how this trust translated into buying decisions. At least a third of Polish consumers preferred to buy products made by family businesses, instead of purchasing comparable goods from a non-family business.

The 2017 Trust Barometer—Special Report: Family Business, by US public relations firm Edelman, echoed the family business trust factor found in the FFR research.

Edelman reported 75% of its 15,000 global respondents trusted family businesses, compared to 59% who trusted non-family firms.

However, the Edelman study also found respondents were sceptical about the heirs to family businesses, with 63% agreeing they would mismanage the company, 53% agreeing they were less impressive and talented, and 56% affirming the next generation were less committed and passionate about the company.

No directly comparable data relating to next-generation succession was part of the 2018 Fundacja Firmy Rodzinne study, however it has previously reported an incoming “tsunami” of succession in the next decade, despite only 17% of family businesses having a plan in place to achieve this.

This lack of planning reflects the nascent stage of the family business ecosystem in Poland, where most businesses were founded after the end of communism in 1989.

FFR estimates family businesses make up for about 78% of all businesses in Poland while the country's Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology says family businesses contribute as much as 40% to its GDP.

Some of Poland’s most widely-recognised family businesses are ice cream maker Grycan, salmon producer Koral, and bus maker Solaris.

Solaris’s founding Olszewski family agreed to sell the bus maker in July this year to Spanish investor Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles - CAF and the state-controlled Polish Development Fund who will hold a 35% stake.
 

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