Like Obelix in the magic potion, many French people have fallen into the world of entrepreneurship at a very young age. In France, 48% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps are family businesses. So many young people who grew up in the factories, offices, hotels or shops of their parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents and who, for some, take up the torch one day or another. It is estimated that 700,000 companies will be taken over in France in the next decade, while one in four SME and mid-cap family managers is over sixty years old.
This destiny, more or less chosen, weighs on the shoulders of the successors and also implies its share of responsibilities and challenges. Because running a business as a family is not easy, even when entrepreneurship seems to run through your veins. "My playground was the company's offices, I loved it," recalls Marianne Guyader, shareholder of the Guyader Gastronomie group, a Breton family business that now employs 600 people. The fourth generation of Guyaders to work in the company, Marianne has just bought one of the group's subsidiaries from her father: the artisanal cannery Groix et Nature, in addition to her role within the Guyader Gastronomie group, as CSR manager. A path she chose "without ever feeling pressure from any side to resume," she assures.
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And without creating jealousy among three siblings, of whom she is the eldest, her sisters do not want to work in the company. "Things happened naturally," confirms his father, Christian Guyader - still at the head of the group inherited from his parents. "But the recovery didn't happen overnight because a transmission is being prepared," he warns. Marianne first worked outside the company, then joined Groix et Nature as sales director. She then became general manager when I decided to take a step back. I remained chairman, then came the time to hand over the transfer with a well-prepared handover."
A realism that not all family business owners can boast of. While one in four family SME and mid-cap managers is over 60 years old, 47% of family business leaders aged 60 to 69 have not formalized a succession plan, according to a study by Bpifrance Le Lab -FBN France. However, according to Patrick Glebocki, a lawyer and partner at KPMG, "family transfers must be prepared and anticipated, because they include...
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