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The Family Business Alliance believes that a healthy business also makes for a healthy family. For 20 years, our mission is to be the trusted resource providing world-class services to empower regional family-owned businesses. We accomplish this through educational programs, networking, counsel and guidance so that success is achieved for the community. It is important work: family-owned businesses account for two thirds of all businesses around the world according to John Davis of Harvard Business School. Family Businesses are a crucial piece in our regional economy and in the lives of their families and employees.

Why Are Family Owned Businesses so Important? 

Nearly 5.5 million businesses in the United States are family-owned. Family businesses account for 50 percent of the U.S. workforce and nearly 50 percent of the gross national product. They generate 60 percent of our country’s employment. Additionally, more than 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies are family-owned or controlled. Family businesses create a large work force that has a lower turnover rate than in a non-family business.

What are the challenges of family business? 

Nearly 88 percent of family businesses say they wish to transfer the company to a family member. However, only 30 percent of all family-owned businesses survive into the second generation. Only 12 percent are still viable into the third generation, and just three percent operate in the fourth generation and beyond.

Our Mission

A Brief History
of the Alliance 

The organization started in 1997 as the Family Business Forum as part of the William G. McGowan School of Business at King’s College. The FBF thrived under a small group of initial advisors. The forum grew to include many family businesses as membership grew to encompass a wide variety of industries. In 2012, the forum found a new home at Wilkes University. At this time the organization changed its name to the Family Business Alliance. At Wilkes the Alliance continues to develop great collaborations with faculty, students and family businesses. In 2017, in an effort to create a regional alliance, a partnership was formed with Penn State Scranton. Programming is being presented at both institutions with great benefit to businesses and students. As the Alliance grows it maintains the same core goals of educating, supporting and connecting family businesses that are the backbone of our northeastern Pennsylvania community. 

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