Last night we held our second FIB Exclusive Dinner and Discussion event, a private dining evening by invitation only for family and owner managed enterprises. Held in Birmingham at the very popular Opus Restaurant, the events was sponsored by local FIB advisers Yorkshire Bank and Else Solicitors LLP and Midlands accountancy firm Dains LLP.
With a select number of Midlands business leaders, entrepreneurs future generation and non family executives in attendance the evening explored the challenges being faced with a focus on the future direction of their businesses. From agriculture to manufacturing and from tourism to retail, the guests represented a wealth of sectors and business journeys. More than anything what emerged was a true passion for their businesses as well as their employees. Despite the range of industries represented it was incredible to see them realise that the issues that they face in their day to day life are so similar to other family owned enterprises. This of course gives a reassurance as well as an ability to share stories and humour!
There's no question that those attending are hard working and believe in the importance of what they do but this was also supported by their clear strength and resilience. One business was over 100 years old and shared how they had innovated and developed as a business and management team to push on through the challenges of the tough economic conditions felt from 2007 onwards. By having a clear vision, open communication, courage and utter strength to continue, they are a clear example of why the family business sector is so vital to the UK and world economy.
It's very easy to become isolated and feel alone when part of a family business, whether as a family member or non family executive, and so by bringing these people together in a confidential and supportive environment it's amazing how they can build confidence and leave with a sense of assurance and in the knowledge all family businesses are dysfunctional in some shape or form - that's what makes them so fascinating, exciting and something to be very proud of.