The Family Business Factor


Growth is the lifeblood of family business, essential to ensuring the business will continue to prosper for future generations. But, as experts suggest, this means recognizing that it will take new approaches and skills to drive growth and keep the business thriving.

According to the 2022 Global NextGen Survey by PwC, the next generation involvement in family business has become an even more critical topic since the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, nearly half of respondents (43 percent), say they feel more committed to the business than they did prior to the pandemic and that they are now more involved in the business.

More than half (56 percent) believe that communication between family members about the business increased during the pandemic.

According to PwC experts, “NextGen leaders have become more engaged and committed to the business — the challenge is to build confidence between the current and next generation. Our survey shows communication has increased and this is a good basis for a new generational contract. This is the time to flesh out succession plans and to define the leadership skills required to deliver growth in the future, the key benchmarks on the route to succession, and what NextGens must do to demonstrate they are ready to take the reins. That way the current generation can transition to a supporting role with greater confidence.”

PwC also surveyed the current generation of family business owners, finding both generations are firmly focused on growth.

“Family business is a good barometer for the global economy, and we are encouraged by the findings of our survey,” according to PwC. “The NextGen of family business is ready to learn, adapt and play a larger role in shaping the future for the business and the family. The commitment we see from the NextGen gives us optimism for a future built on sustainable growth.”

In this edition of the MBA Business Magazine, we’ll highlight the importance of family businesses to the economy and the community, and the resources that are available to them in our region. In fact, we’ll highlight Penn State Behrend’s new outreach initiative, the Center for Family Business at the Black School of Business in Erie, Pennsylvania, and how it is filling a void for family firms through the unique programs and university support it provides.

We’ll also hear from Kelly and Jerry Port, owners of Port Farms in Waterford, Pennsylvania, about the family farm’s growing agri-business as it marks 125 years in 2022. Plus, don’t miss our expert articles on legal support and training, including our new Training Catalog, that can take family businesses to the next level in the next generation!

To learn more about the programs and services available at the MBA, visit!