The future of a family business is inextricably linked to succession of the next generation, so the opinions and values of the prospective successors play a decisive role. Accordingly, for many years the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen has been conducting research on behalf of the Foundation for Family Businesses on how Germany’s next generation of entrepreneurs thinks and acts.
The study „Germany’s next generation of business owners“ is the biggest data-gathering exercise among potential successors in family businesses in the German-speaking world. The fourth update to this study (in German) has been available since December 2017.
One significant finding of the latest update in this series is that the next generation of family business owners are confident and keen to take on entrepreneurial responsibility: 67 percent of those surveyed think it likely they will play a role as a director in their family’s company.“Members of the next generation identify with their companies and are prepared to take on roles such as director, adviser or shareholder. They will therefore be taking over long-term responsibility at a time when the economy is facing ever-greater constraints,” comments Stefan Heidbreder, Managing Director of the Foundation for Family Businesses, on the study’s findings in a press release.
Given that family businesses account for almost 60 percent of all jobs in Germany, it is also in the interests of the wider economy that large family firms are successfully passed on to the next generation. The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs has therefore created an information portal on the internet dedicated to succession planning at:
This initiative is flanked by a study (in German ) that looks at „succession planning in Bavaria“ in particular.
Photo top: © Werner Schuering
Head of Communications
The Foundation for Family Businesses
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 12 76 400 06