The contribution to the Luxembourg economy of family businesses is being overlooked by policy makers and government, a leading entrepreneur has said.
Family businesses provide 40 percent of employment in Luxembourg and account for 72 percent of companies but this important contribution is being ignored by decision-makers, Laurent Koener, Managing Partner of Koener Consulting Group and fifth generation of a family business said at an Indian Business Chamber event on Monday.
“There's a lack of an overall picture of their contribution,” he said, “A lack of awareness among policy makers not to mention government and public institutions about the political frame of family businesses.”
During Mr Koener's talk about fostering family entrepreneurship in Luxembourg, he highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of family businesses. Among the strengths was the ability of family businesses to weather economic crises given their prudent approach to finance.
He emphasised that for family entrepreneurship to flourish, it needed to be emphasised among young people that working in family business is a valid career choice.
“Its very important to show young people and students that there is an alternative to going to work for the state for life. You can always be an entrepreneur,” he said.
Already a number of initiatives are in place to help, including the Jonk Entrepreneuren and Creative Young Entrepreneur Award. Yet, still, family entrepreneurship is not a mindset common among Luxembourg nationals. A recent survey cited by Mr Koener found that only 39 percent of Luxembourgers considered entrepreneurship a “real career choice”.
Mr Koener stressed that for potential family entrepreneurs of the future to succeed, they needed contact with companies in order to foster an entrepreneurial spirit. Furthermore, he said that there needed to be more training sessions and conferences on the subject.
With family businesses playing such an integral role in the Luxembourg economy their continued existence is crucial for the country's success. As such, Mr Koener reminded listeners of the importance of drawing up a succession plan for family businesses at an early stage and of seeking external support from consultants to follow this process through.
In his experience, he said that all too often family businesses leave succession planning too late. He warned that this process can take anything up to 10 years.
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