Family businesses continue to make long-lasting impact in their communities
27th January 2021
New research by the IFB Research Foundation highlights the important role family businesses play in their communities throughout the generations.
Much is known about the contribution of family businesses make to the UK economy. Whilst it is generally accepted family firms play an important role in their communities, there has been far less research about the social and community impact of family firms.
The new report Family Business and Community Engagement sheds light on the ways family businesses engage with their communities, and highlights the long-term benefits that sustainable business-community partnership can have for all parties involved. As the research shows, these partnerships not only benefit the communities themselves, but also can provide real upsides for family businesses and business families too - through enhanced trust and reputation, and providing opportunities for the personal and the professional development of employees and family members.
This week, the IFB Research Foundation has published new case studies, which complement this research project by revealing real life experiences from multi-generational family businesses.
These case studies provide insights and recommendations on:
- Creating sustainable impact by building long-term involvement, through the experience of Bibby Line Group, one of the UK’s oldest family businesses;
- How to effectively communicate community engagement and impact, through the experience of A.F. Blakemore & Son, one of the UK’s largest family businesses.
The IFB Research Foundation has published a practical checklist based on learning from the research to assist with the planning of community engagement activities for family businesses. This tool is freely available here.
Sir Michael Bibby, Chairman of the IFB Research Foundation, said
“Families own a business not just for the commercial benefits but also for the reputation it generates in the communities in which they operate.”
Professor Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnership and Engagement, Professor of Entrepreneurship, and author of the report, said
“Family businesses and their community engagement activities can bring with them a wide range of social benefits which are often overlooked, including: wellbeing of local residents, better facilities and equipment, cleaner environments, philanthropy, job opportunities (particularly in disadvantaged areas) and access to business skills. These benefits can in turn collectively coalesce to create environments in which innovation and sustainability flourish which is vital for inclusive and responsible growth.”