Edited by Sandra L. Fielden and Marilyn J. Davidson
7 Succession planning in small ﬁrms: Gender impacts Lynn M. Martin and Chris Martin Introduction Between 2000 and 2020, women are predicted to move to 50 per cent ownership of all US businesses. This is attributed to an upsurge in the inheritance, ownership and management of companies by women of those enterprises that were founded immediately post-war (Achua, 1997; Daniels, 1997). Whether European companies will follow these anticipated trends is more open to question. In Germany, an estimated 411 000 employees in 32 000 companies are expected to face ‘problems of succession in family owned businesses’ without predictions as to female inheritance (Wickert and Herschel, 2001, p. 330, citing Schröeder and Freund, 2000). In the UK, men were found to be more likely to inherit the family ﬁrm (Curran and Burrows, 1989), and by 1998, little had changed since twice as many 18–24 year olds running inherited businesses were male (5 per cent : 2 per cent) (Barclays Bank, 1998). The level of inheritance of the family ﬁrm is low in the UK, with only 4 per cent of entrepreneurs in the 2001 Small Business Service Household Survey of Entrepreneurship having inherited their business. However, this ﬁgure also omits the ways in which money from the sale of the business may be used. Male relatives may have money provided to start up a ﬁrm, whereas female relatives are more likely to receive money as goods or for speciﬁc lifestyle items like a car (Martin, 2001a). Despite the rise...
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