Requests for Proposals
UK FAMILY BUSINESS SECTOR REPORT - DEADLINE MONDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2019
The Institute for Family Business Research Foundation (IFBRF) (charity no.1134085) is requesting proposals to produce its annual ‘State of the Nation’ sector report for the family business sector in the UK for the next three years, 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22.
Since 2008, the IFBRF has published a sector report scoping the size, scale and diversity of the UK’s family business sector. Since 2014, this has been published annually, and has become the major important source of evidence on the economic contribution of family businesses in the UK.
Our latest Family Business Sector Report (for 2018/19) was published in May 2019. The full report is available to download here. The report presents up-to-date evidence on the family business sector and investigates the characteristics of family firms: their size, structure, and concentration across different industrial sectors. It reports on the economic contribution that family businesses make to UK GDP, employment, and taxes each year; and provides in-depth analysis of the geographical and sectoral spread of family firms. The report provides insights into how small- and medium-sized (SME) family businesses with employees are performing, drawing on survey evidence from thousands of businesses across the UK.
3. Research questions
The IFBRF is commissioning a family business sector report to be produced annually over the next three years. The report will address the following questions:
- How big is the family business sector in the UK? What is the prevalence of the family firms, and how does this vary by scale and regionally across the UK?
- What are the main characteristics of the UK’s family-run businesses and how are they different from non-family-run firms?
- What contribution does the family business sector make to the UK economy (in terms of employment, taxation, and GDP, for example)?
- How do family-owned firms perform compared with non-family owned firms, and what explains these differences?
- What are the main challenges currently faced by family-run businesses in the UK?
4. Project details
We are keen to encourage fresh and creative approaches to how the above questions might be addressed. We welcome novel ideas for what the next sector report covers, the sources of evidence used, and how the findings are presented and disseminated. The proposed project is likely to include the following main elements:
- Reviewing current evidence relating to family businesses in the UK, including evidence from national UK business surveys.
- This may involve secondary analysis of large UK business surveys such as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Longitudinal Small Business Survey, which includes measures of family ownership and management.
- Estimating the proportion of UK firms that are family-run/owned, and how this varies by size, sector, and region.
- Estimating the contribution that the family-business sector makes to UK GDP, employment, and to the UK Government’s total tax revenues.
- Production of a comprehensive research report that synthesises the evidence from multiple evidence sources and secondary analyses, and that is underpinned by a coherent and engaging narrative.
- Work with colleagues from the IFBRF and its sister organisation, the Institute for Family Business (IFB), to disseminate findings from the report to key stakeholders.
5. Publication outputs
The outputs from the project will include:
5.1. An interim report detailing the analysis strategy, preliminary results of any analyses undertaken, and a summary of current evidence/research identified. This will be submitted to the IFBRF once the preliminary analysis and synthesis of existing evidence has been completed.
5.2. A sector report that should be approximately 30-40 pages in length, excluding foreword, table of contents, references, and any annexes. In line with our existing policy, the IFBRF will retain editorial control over the content of the report and it will be branded as an IFBRF report. It will be published on the IFB’s website and it may also be disseminated in printed form. Following the IFBRF’s charitable objectives, the report will be made available free of charge on an open-source basis. The research team will work with colleagues at the IFB and IFBRF to disseminate the report’s findings to key stakeholders.
5.3. Briefing or ‘key findings’ presenting a distillation of the key messages from the report and which will facilitate dissemination of the report’s findings. This will be compiled in collaboration with the IFB’s communications/public affairs team.
The figures in the Sector Report depend on accurate estimates of the prevalence of family ownership among large UK firms. Previous reports have been unable to distinguish between subsidiaries and holding companies in the same group. This could potentially affect the estimated prevalence of family firms and other estimates in the report.
Taking as your starting point the IFBRF’s existing list of large family-owned firms, please detail how you would identify companies within the same group and then analyse these data at group level. The output from this work would be an updated list of large family firms that distinguishes parent companies and their subsidiaries to avoid duplication in the reporting of large family companies. The updated list with parent/subsidiaries de-duplicated would then be used to produce a revised estimate of the prevalence of family ownership among large UK firms.
Please identify the additional cost and time to undertake this piece of work in addition to the production of the main report and the approach you would take.
7. Project proposal application details
If this project is something that you might be interested in, then please submit a fully costed research proposal (excluding print costs) to Dr Martin Kemp, Head of Research at the IFBRF, at email@example.com by Monday 30th September 2019.
The proposal should be no more than 1500 words in length (excluding CVs) and address the following headings:
(i) Research objectives/questions
As specified above.
(ii) Approach, analytical methods, evidence and data sources
Please describe how you would address the analytical questions and objectives outlined above.
Proposals submitted should provide a detailed research and analysis strategy. Please identify the evidence and data sources you would use to address the research questions and objectives above, and the statistical methods you would employ to analyse these data.
Please outline how you would approach the report and provide an outline of structure and content. The brief should set out the proposed structure of the finished report and confirm what will be delivered and identify any parts of the proposal that may be harder to deliver. Please also indicate how you would (working with colleagues in the IFB and IFBRF) disseminate the report’s key findings to our key audiences.
Applicants should provide a project timetable, including start and end dates and showing milestones for each stage of the project.
(v) Project team
Applicants should supply information on members of the project team, their responsibilities and the time they will each allocate to working on the project. CVs of members of the project team should be attached to your proposal, including details of any qualifications and experience relevant to the project. Applicants should indicate who will take the lead for the project.
A detailed budget covering the proposed cost over the three-year contractual period should include staff time, expenses etc. The IFBRF is a charity and therefore does not cover indirect costs.
(vii) Indicative work/examples of published economic, research, or analytical reports
Please include example(s) of recent reports written reports that demonstrate your ability to undertake systematic analysis of complex business data, draw appropriate conclusions, and communicate findings to a wide audience.
Definition of “family business”
The Research Foundation adopts the EU definition of “family business”. A firm, of any size, is defined as a family business, if
- the majority of decision-making rights is in the possession of the natural person(s) who established the firm, or in the possession of the natural person(s) who has/have acquired the share capital of the firm, or in the possession of their spouses, parents, child or children’s direct heirs;
- the majority of decision-making rights are indirect or direct;
- at least one representative of the family or kin is formally involved in the governance of the firm; and
- listed companies meet the definition of family enterprise if the person who established or acquired the firm (share capital) or their families or descendants possess 25 per cent of the decision-making rights mandated by their share capital.
About the IFB Research Foundation
The IFBRF is a charity (no. 1134085) established to foster greater knowledge and understanding of family firms and their contribution to the economy and society, as well as the key challenges and opportunities that they face.
The IFBRF’s vision is to be the UK’s centre of excellence for family business research, and to this end its publications are designed to create a better understanding of family business for the benefit of all stakeholders. Alongside Family Business Research and White Papers, providing thought leadership on key family business characteristics and issues, its work covers a broad range of publications, including:
- Family Business Sector Report – benchmarking the size and importance of the sector.
- Family Business Challenges – offering practical guidance for family business owners on a broad range of topics, including family business dynamics, governance, performance, succession and wealth management.
- Family Business Case Studies – showcasing family business exemplars.
- The Foundation disseminates knowledge and best practice guidance through printed publications and online media accessible via the IFB website and other activities.
The Institute for Family Business
The Foundation works closely with its sister organisation, the IFB, a membership association representing the UK’s family business sector. The IFB is the UK chapter of FBN International, the global network for family businesses. More information about the IFB can be found at: www.ifb.org.uk