The Voice of Family Business

The Voice of Family Business

“The powerful alignment of family business and the SDGs was revealed at a first-of-its kind meeting at the United Nations during the World Investment Forum. FBN has provided visionary leadership.”

James Zhan, Director, UNCTAD

The Voice of Family Business

FBN challenges the Friedman ‘shareholder-only’ model of business and affirms that the purpose of business is to deliver for ALL stakeholders. This credo is enshrined in FBN’s Pledge for a Sustainable Future – a commitment to champion a business model that will enable flourishing for people, community, the environment and generations to come.

Worldwide, family businesses account for two thirds of businesses, employ 60% of the work force and contribute over 70% to global GDP. Given this predominance, family firms have the potential to lead responsible capitalism by educating employees, ensuring responsible production and engaging suppliers in ethical practices – Practices that will maximise social and economic impact, safeguard the environment and deliver on the SDGs.

With over 4,000 Business Families across 65 countries, FBN is the world’s largest network of family businesses and uniquely positioned to take on the mantle of responsible capitalism. Specifically developed to bring this agenda to life, Polaris further amplifies the voice and actions of purpose driven business families via thought leadership, learning platforms and collaboration with like-minded partners


1. World Investment Forum, UNCTAD, Geneva

At the invitation of the United Nations, six family businesses representing Asia, Europe and South America convened at the Palais des Nations, Geneva to address a global multi-stakeholder audience. At this ‘first-of- its-kind meeting’, the business owners shared how the tenets of long-termism and legacy enable family businesses in their journey to be agents of economic and social inclusion.


2. Sustainability in Asia: Family Business at the Forefront, INSEAD

An INSEAD working paper on Sustainability in Asia affirms the role of family businesses to be change agents. The enduring mission and intergenerational thinking of business owners are inherent ‘sources of sustainable innovation’. Concurrently, the focus on the ‘double bottom line’, ‘investment in people and communities’ and ‘third party certifications’ are winning sustainability strategies for family businesses. The authors advance that organisations and ‘certifications such as B Corp, the underlying rationale for the Polaris Impact Assessment’ provide opportunities for invaluable ‘peer discussions and dissemination of best practice’.


3. Vocation of the Business Leader – Reflections from a Family Business perspective. Vatican

Developed with Vatican leaders and the FBN Thought and Religious Leaders Group, the document acknowledges the pressures causing business leaders to believe that their professional lives are incompatible with their spiritual lives. It urges leaders to eschew a divided life and embark on the alternative path of servant leadership. The document further explores how successful business families embrace and harmonise the inherent polarities of ‘business’ and ‘family’ for long term good.


Synergizing the Family and Business for long term success