Historic Economic Shift: The Unprecedented Transfer of Wealth and Transformation in Canadian Family Businesses

Published: Sep 12, 2023

OAKVILLE, ON, Sept. 12, 2023 /CNW/ – A significant transformation is on the horizon for Canadian family businesses, signalling an era of change and new thinking. With the next decade set to witness the largest capital transfer in Canadian history, today’s decisions will be pivotal in shaping the longevity and future of family enterprises nationwide.

“The next ten years in Canada are set to mark an unparalleled chapter in the realm of family businesses,” said Olivier de Richoufftz, General Secretary of Family Enterprise Foundation. “As 60% of family enterprises prepare for an ownership transition, nearly 40% of the next generation is poised to lead these legacies. Yet, of this wave, only 47% are projected to remain entirely within the family. The choices made today won’t just affect immediate succession; they’re forging the future and legacy of family businesses across Canada.”

Family-owned businesses form the foundation of the country’s economic structure, with 99% of Canadian employers categorized as small to medium-sized businesses and the majority being family-owned. These enterprises represent 63% of all private sector firms that play a pivotal role in national economic output, generating 49% of Canada’s private sector GDP at $574.6 billion.

Their influence also extends to the job market, employing approximately 6.9 million Canadians. To put this into perspective, family-owned businesses directly supported 37.4% of Canada’s entire workforce in 2017 alone, significantly shaping Canada’s economic landscape.

“Family businesses have a diverse footprint in Canada, ranging from agriculture to retail, and predominantly operating in small to medium scales,” added Mr. de Richoufftz. “The Prairie provinces stand out, with a high prevalence of family-owned ventures due to agriculture’s significant role. Moreover, sectors like service, hotel accommodations, food services, and fisheries see a vibrant, sizable family-owned business nationwide.”

As family businesses face this transformative phase, the October conference, “Families Summit of Minds,” is set to bring the world’s foremost experts in family business to guide business owners and their families on the challenges and prospects of family enterprises in a rapidly evolving global landscape.

“In the world of family business, just as in politics, there’s a delicate balance to strike. We must honour our long-standing traditions and the core values that have steered us to success. Yet, we also have to be agile, recognizing when it’s time to embrace change and modernize for the future,” said Lisa Raitt, co-chair of the Coalition for a Better Future, former Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party, and keynote speaker at Families Summit of Minds. “Some families manage this succession planning better than others, but every business needs a roadmap for success for the coming change.”

Interviews are available with Olivier de Richoufftz and any of the Summit conference experts/authors below:

  • Andrew Keyt, Co-founder Generation6:
    Parents, Children, and Disruptors
  • Sanjay Sharma, Dean, University of Vermont:
    Insights from Pioneering Family Enterprises
  • Dan Wiclum, CEO, The Transition Accelerator:
    Creating a Canadian Advantage.
  • Helle Bank Jorgensen, CEO and Founder, Competent Boards:
    Future Family Boardroom
  • Karl Moore, Associate Professor, McGill University, Green Templeton College, Oxford University:
    How to More Effectively Work with Millennials
  • Yann Coatanlem, CEO of DataCore Innovations:
    Combining Efficiency, Equity and Prosperity
  • Thierry Malleret, Economist, Founder, Monthly Barometer:
    David, Goliath, and Diversification

About Families Summit of Minds, October 13-15, 2023, Mont Tremblant QC

Families Summit of Minds, hosted by Family Enterprise Canada and powered by Family Enterprise Foundation and Monthly Barometer, is the annual conference designed exclusively for business families. Held over three days, Families Summit of Minds combines high-level thinking, access to an exceptional network of global experts and mind-stretching conversations with peers focusing on meaningful insights and tangible outcomes that touch both the business and the family’s future.

To view the Families Summit of Minds Program: https://events.familyenterprise.ca/families-summit-of-minds-2023/fsom-schedule

About Family Enterprise Canada

Family Enterprise Canada is a national community, resource centre and learning hub for business families and certified Family Enterprise Advisors. We empower families with the resources needed to navigate challenges and embrace opportunities unique to working with loved ones.

Our members connect, learn and grow together through dynamic social and educational events, intimate peer-to-peer advisory groups, one-on-one mentorship, online and in-person learning experiences, and access to professionals that are specially trained in family business dynamics.

We believe family businesses are essential to building a better tomorrow for Canada’s communities and economy. Our role? To foster their strength and success.

Media enquiries: Kathryn Hendrick, (416) 277-6281, hendrickkathryn@gmail.com

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