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UK family firms are more important to economy than private equity

Family businesses are twice as important to the UK economy as private equity-backed firms, according to a report. The UK Family Business Sector report by the Institute of Family Business suggests that family firms generate sales of €1,392 billion compared to €555 billion from private equity-backed firms. The sectors also account for 9.5 million and 2.8 million employees respectively.

The report also suggests that family firms account for 65% of all the private sector enterprises in the UK and are responsible for around 31% of GDP in the whole economy.

"Family firms are a key component of the private sector, helping drive the creation of wealth and deliver benefits for society through employment and the support that family firms provide to our local communities," said Grant Gordon, director general of the Institute for Family Business.

Despite this contribution to the economy, the report states that the level of family ownership is relatively low in the UK with around 70% of business being family-owned. It is even lower in France and Germany at 60% and Italy tops the board at over 80%.

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