Alberta Business Family Institute (ABFI)

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Family Businesses and their IMPACT on our Economy

Family Businesses are rooted in communities across our diverse geography, successful family enterprises sustain a multigenerational commitment to job creation and to the social cohesion that builds community and national prosperity.
The Family Enterprise Xchange Foundation commissioned a research paper by the Conference Board of Canada to accurately measure the economic and social impact of family enterprises. This report confirms that family enterprises account for approximately 50% of private-sector gross domestic product and nearly 7 million jobs across the country.
Family Enterprises directly generated approximately $574.6 billion in 2017-48.9% of GDP originating from the private sector.
Family-owned businesses directly accounted for 6.9 million jobs in 2017, amounting to 46.9% of private-sector employment and 37.4% of the entire workforce. Over 90% of these jobs (6.4 million) are in small and medium-sized family enterprises.
In the agricultural sector, for example, these businesses accounted for more than 80% of employment in 2017. The share of family enterprise employment is also significant in transportation and warehousing (85.4%), accommodation and food services (71.3%), and construction (68.5%).

Family Businesses are RESILIENT

Between 2007 and 2013, total revenues grew 14.6% on average among family enterprises, compared to 13.9% for all other firms. Of firms that were operating in 2007, 70.1% of confirmed family enterprises were still operating in 2013, compared to just 65.2% of other firms.
Staggering, isn't it? Family Business is a powerful force in the Canadian economy. Understanding what makes them successful is vital in all organizations.
All statistics can be found on both the Conference Board of Canada "The Economic Impact of Family-Owned Enterprises in Canada" Report September 2019 and the Family Enterprise XChange Foundation "Family Enterprise Matters" Report September 2019.

Support, networking, and resources for family-owned business

The Alberta Business Family Institute recognizes the vital impact of family enterprise on our economy, as well as the specialized needs of this unique entity. ABFI is committed to improving the statistics through the provision of essential tools, guidance and knowledge in such areas as:
  • succession and estate planning
  • corporate governance
  • leadership development
  • conflict resolution
  • and more


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