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Africa Family Business Survey 2021

From trust to impact

Why family businesses need to act now to ensure their legacy tomorrow

The unprecedented, tumultuous events of the past year have presented family businesses with enormous challenges. And although many have demonstrated significant resilience amid the crisis—the rapidly changing state of the world has served as a wake-up call for family business leaders looking towards the future.


In our Africa Family Business Survey, we reveal the current thinking—and future outlook—of 231 family business leaders across 13 African territories. Our findings show that it’s no longer enough to rely on values and legacy to propel the business forward. Tomorrow’s family business requires a new approach for lasting success—one based on accelerated digital transformation, prioritisation of sustainability goals and professional family governance.

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Economic resilience is high

69% say they needed no additional capital in 2020, and only one-third (34%) are cutting dividends during the crisis. Almost two-thirds (63%) of African family businesses expect to grow in 2021 compared to only 36% of CEOs who participated in PwC’s 24th Global CEO survey.

Progress on digital transformation is slow

43% say their digital capabilities are strong. In the 2018 Family Business Survey, 80% were worried about innovation and technology, and 57% said they would invest in it.

There’s a real desire to lead on sustainability, but action has been slow

63% say there is an opportunity for them to lead the way on sustainable business practices, but only 36% have a sustainability strategy in place.

There’s resistance to change and professionalisation

50% have a documented vision and written purpose statement, only 24% have succession plans and 26% say there is a resistance to change.

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Contact us

Andrea Benkenstein

Andrea Benkenstein

Associate Director, PwC South Africa

Tel: +27 (0) 21 529 2754

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