UNI’s Advance Iowa assists family businesses

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 90 percent of all businesses are family owned. Family businesses are widely recognized as a powerful driver of economic growth – generating more than 60 percent of US GDP and 75 percent of private sector jobs. They are often the economic engine for rural communities across Iowa, providing employment, identity and philanthropic resources to many places that Iowans call home.

Family-owned companies are no doubt the lifeblood of Iowa’s economy, yet we see them operating in a time of extreme uncertainty from the standpoint of viable succession to the next generation. Research shows that only about 30 percent of family businesses survive to the second generation and only 12 percent are still viable into the third generation. A program through UNI’s Business and Community Services’ Advance Iowa, the Family Business Forum, is focused on these firms and the unique opportunities and challenges they face.

UNI is currently halfway through the summer Family Business Reunion Tour. Locations throughout Iowa are selected and family business topics are coordinated that feature Iowa family business sharing their stories of success, challenges and opportunities.
“We’ve had a great summer of getting to know family-owned companies and networking them with each other,” said Dan Beenken, program manager for the Family Business Forum. “Our workshops at these events have focused on succession planning, next generation leadership development, family governance and other key topics. It’s been great to see the benefits families can gain by being intentional with their planning and communication.”

The remaining two locations are August 27 at the Jasper Winery in Des Moines and August 29 at the Hansen Dairy Farm in Hudson. More information on the tour and our other family focused programming can be found at: https://advanceiowa.com/family-business-forum.

Advance Iowa