Family businesses globally have enjoyed double-digit growth in 2022
Family businesses bounced back after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The notion of how to build trust in business is changing—fundamentally and rapidly. For everyone—including customers and employees—issues like environmental, social and governance (ESG) and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) have become litmus tests for trustworthiness.
Family businesses see largest growth increase in 15 years: traits like values, employee communication, digital capabilities stand out in companies which outperformed peers: PwC Global Family Business Survey.
Family businesses with a company purpose connected to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are performing better than their peers across multiple financial and social metrics, according to PwC’s 11th Global Family Business Survey.
The report, Transform to Build Trust, which polled over 2,000 family businesses across 82 countries between October 2022 and January 2023, reveals double-digit sales growth at 43% of family businesses globally in the last financial year, up from 21% in 2021.
Notably, nearly three-quarters (73%) of family businesses that experienced double-digit growth over the last financial year are those with a clear set of family values and an agreed purpose for the business. This year’s survey reveals an upward trend in the share of family businesses willing to lead the way in sustainable business practices, with half (50%) of firms surveyed with a purpose connected to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals seeing double-digit growth during the same period.
Family businesses bounced back after the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite a positive commercial outlook in 2023, the data reveals a disparity between priorities for leaders and focus areas that are typically associated with higher levels of growth. High-performing family businesses in 2023 are shown to have:
Employee incentives (53%)
Boards committed to diversity (52%)
Strong digital capabilities (47%)
As challenging macroeconomic headwinds impact businesses globally, family businesses in 2023 are largely committed to protecting the core business, covering costs, and surviving, increasing significantly as a key priority (+37%) in 2023 rather than pursuing digital capabilities and introducing new products and services. Just over a third (36%) of family businesses say they are focused on attracting and retaining talent – despite the understanding that employee trust is critical to business success.
There is clear evidence that being very advanced in having an agreed and communicated ESG strategy correlates strongly with success and other positive attributes. Half (50%) of those surveyed who are very advanced in having an agreed and communicated ESG strategy saw double-digit growth (42% for family businesses not very advanced in this area).