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Uploaded on Apr 25, 2024

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The Business of Family
Contrary to popular belief, family businesses are more than just charming corner stores and quaint mom-and-pop restaurants. These businesses constitute a staggering 63 per cent of Canada’s private sector enterprises and contribute half of the country’s GDP and employment. But their impact goes beyond the numbers. Family businesses tend to prioritize giving back to their communities.

In this video, Sarah Burrows, assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Smith School of Business, breaks down the unique challenges facing family businesses. She explores the inseparable nature of familial and business interests while reinforcing the importance of keeping personal dynamics out of corporate affairs. She unpacks the different roles family members play in these firms — from employees to shareholders and beyond, and touches on the need to navigate familial ties, employment obligations and shareholder responsibilities effectively.

Burrows also explores the oft-tricky process of succession — passing the firm down to the next generation. Why is it that only a small percentage of family businesses survive beyond the second generation? And what are the keys to a successful succession? From keeping family drama out of the boardroom, to navigating tough decisions about who takes over next, Burrows explores the complexities and dynamics of family-owned businesses.
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