The Kids Are Alright

Barclays Business asked the nation if it were ever to set up shop, would they pick a family member and revealed one in three would do so, rising to two in five 18-34 year olds.

Barclays found three in five UK adults would want to pass on a family business to the younger generation in their family if they had the opportunity, however 23 per cent of those over 55 feared that the younger generation would not want to inherit it.

The research is part of the latest report2 on family business from Barclays and CEBR. The ‘Second Generation Family SMEs in the UK’ report reveals fewer businesses are being passed down to grandchildren. The number of businesses handed on to the next generation3 has fallen by 136,000 since 2007. Currently, 570,000 family-run UK SMEs4 have been in the family for more than one generation. Seven in ten of these have been in the family for two generations, while 29 per cent have made it through to the third generation and beyond.

Rebecca McNeil, Director of Business Lending and Enterprise at Barclays Business commented: “Family-owned SME businesses are at the heart of the UK economy and a valuable heritage. Owning and running a business with your family can be as aspirational for many Brits as owning your own house. We’ve seen some customers bank with us for over 100 years and others who have carried their business down through seven generations or more!”

When it comes to the relative most people want as a business partner, siblings are top of the poll, with 27 per cent saying a brother or sister is their top pick if they went into business with a family member. This is closely followed by fathers with 9 per cent of the vote.