‘A new vision for the UK Economy’: IFB relaunches as Family Business UK to strengthen ecosystem of support for family businesses across Britain

July 3, 2023

Family Business UK magazine image
  • Family Business UK is a growing movement of family firms seeking to advocate for a stronger role and voice of family businesses whilst providing support to the sector at all levels.
  • The organisation will promote the role of the family business model as a leading example of sustainable and responsible business, working to shift the perceptions and better significant role they play in our economy and communities up and down the country.
  • Launch comes as exclusive polling from Family Business UK and Censuswide found that almost half of British consumers would prefer to buy from a family business.
  • Study also reveals a quarter of the British Public feel the UK Government should do more to promote the family business model within policymaking. Nearly a third (28%) said more support should be given to family businesses.


Monday 3 July: After two decades operating as the ‘Institute for Family Business’, today the organisation is delighted to announce it will be relaunching as Family Business UK.

Family Business UK’s new purpose will focus on creating a movement of family businesses that promote the role of the family business model as a leading example of sustainable and responsible business.

The organisation will work to improve the perceptions of family businesses, and better highlight the contribution and significant role they play in our economy and communities up and down the country.

Family Business UK will also support and advise family businesses to invest, grow and sustain for the long-term, helping family businesses of all sizes deal with common challenges across various stages of the business lifecycle.

Sir James Wates CBE, Chairman of Family Business UK, said:

Our objective is to lead a movement of family businesses working to create a more prosperous and sustainable future for generations to come, positioning family businesses in the UK as an economic force that demands the respect of government and policy makers. We invite all family businesses to join us.”

Kevin Hollinrake MP, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business said:

“Family businesses play a vital role in the UK economy and are valuable and trusted components of our communities. As a sector that delivers jobs and training to local regions, they employ 13.9 million people across the UK and represent the best of British business.

“I look forward to continued engagement with Family Business UK to ensure that family-owned firms are championed, and can operate in an environment where all enterprises can flourish and grow.”

 Chief Executive Neil Davy said:

“Responsible businesses, like family businesses, need a vocal champion that showcases their strengths, supports them with their challenges and celebrates the role they play in society. As Family Business UK, we are committed to ensure their work and contribution is recognised and supported.”

The announcement comes as exclusive research commissioned by the Family Business UK and produced by Censuswide* reveals that 35% of the British Public would prefer to work for a family business over other business models such as Private Equity (11.4%), PLCs (13%) and Venture Capital Firms (8%). Those polled also said they would rather buy from a family business (44%) than from any other type of business.

Regional Breakdown

The regions where consumers said they would want to buy from a family business

Region Preferability
Scotland 51%
South West 48%
South East 47%
Yorkshire and Humber 46%
North East 44.1%
West Midlands 44%
North West 42%
East Midlands 42%
East of England 40%
Wales 39%
London 38%


Chief Executive Neil Davy said the re-branding to Family Business UK will better reflect the organisation’s focus and goals whilst championing the interests of its members, provide additional support and highlight the wider role of family firms in society.

Family Business UK believes that for too long, political, industry and business decision-making has taken a restricted approach to investment decisions that responds to the priorities of non-family business PLCs, whose priority is to meet shareholder demands for short-term returns on investments.

Family businesses offer a model of business that put people at the centre of decision making, see values as an asset, have greater freedom to experiment and innovate and, ultimately, takes a long-term view, putting the interests of the next generation at the heart of businesses.

The UK needs to formulate a growth strategy that encourages and incentivises businesses to focus on longer-term investment opportunities and returns for stakeholders, the environment, and the UK’s role and place in the wider world.

This starts by properly acknowledging, representing and listening to the views of family businesses which operate in every sector and community in the UK.

Censuswide research also reveals that the British Public believe family businesses have the best business model for putting people at the heart of business (24%) when compared to other models.

Family Businesses also take the most local approach and are seen as the leading model for companies prioritising investment in their local communities, according to the study.

Overall, a quarter of the public felt that the UK Government should do more to raise awareness and promote the family business model within policymaking, with nearly a third (28%) of those polled saying more support should be given to family businesses. This included cutting Business Rates (27%), introducing new policies that help owners pass their business to the next generation, and also appointing a Family Business Minister in Government.

In 2020, family businesses across the whole of the UK generated £575 billion in gross value added (GVA) contribution to GDP (gross domestic product), and employed 13.9 million people.

This means that family firms comprised 85.9% of all UK firms, directly generated 44.4% of GDP, and were responsible for 51% of all private sector employment in the UK economy in 2020.