School dean, others advocate measures to safeguard family businesses

L-R: Vice Chancellor, Pan-Atlantic University, Prof. Enase Okonedo; Founder/Chief Executive Officer, The Chair Centre Group, Mr Ibukun Awosika; Director, Lagos Business School, Family Business Initiative, Dr Okey Nwuke and Dean, LBS, Prof. Chris Ogbechie, during the LBS inaugural Family Business Conference in Lagos
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By Rukayat Moisemhe

The Dean, Lagos Business School (LBS), Prof. Chris Ogbechie, has highlighted the need for tailored support geared towards ensuring the longevity and continued success of family businesses.

Ogbechie made the call in Lagos on Wednesday in a communique of a programme organised to assess and guard against data which showed that 70 per cent of family businesses die after the first generation.

According to the LBS dean, only 30 per cent of family businesses survive beyond the first generation, though family businesses all over the world are faced with unique challenges.

This development, he said inspired the LBS to come up with an initiative to foster conversations surrounding the peculiar challenges faced by family-owned enterprises.

“In spite of their contributions, statistics show that only about 30 per cent of Nigerian family businesses survive past the first generation (research by the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. on family businesses).

“This highlights the critical need for tailored support to ensure their longevity and continued success.

“These statistics underscore the resilience and enduring legacy of family businesses in our society.

“However, they also highlight the need for continuous learning and adaptation to ensure sustained success in an ever-changing business landscape,” he said.

In her remarks, Founder, Chair Centre Group, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, emphasised the need for a family business to articulate its vision clearly.

She noted that the survival of family businesses across generations was primarily dependent on structures built to enable the business to outlive the founding fathers.

Awosika urged family businesses pioneers to allow successors to run with their ideas without necessarily being bugged by pre-existing templates of their predecessors.

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“What is the vision in the mind of the person who started the business and what is the vision as the business undergoes the process of transition?

“A lot of times, we do not have clarity on why we started the business in the first place.

“Is it just to make money? Is it to provide for our family? Is it to keep our family name in the public eye? Or is it to build an institution that will create value across time? This is because your actions depend on your vision,” she said.

Awosika also stated the need for family businesses to embrace the right values to stand the test of time.

She said that for family businesses ran by spouses, it was important for one person to make the needed sacrifices to strike a balance between running the business and running the home.

Director, Family Business Initiative, Dr Okey Nwuke, noted that many family businesses had collapsed owing to a vast array of issues.

Nwuke noted that about 24 million family businesses in Nigeria contribute up to 200 billion dollars to the national economy. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa

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