Family Business Network

Up to two-thirds of all businesses can be classed as family businesses.

From the many small firms that make up the backbone of the Cumbrian economy and well known Cumbrian names such as Bells of Lazonby, Story Group and Lakeland, to multi-national giants such as Tata Group, Porsche, Lego and IKEA.

Family run businesses have strengths that set them apart – there’s a great sense of commitment, strong family values and pride in the business.

But they also face challenges around issues such reconciling individual and business goals, bringing professionals into the family team, planning for succession and long term ownership.

And of course those of working day in day out with family!Some of the strengths of family businesses were highlighted in recent research carried out by Bradford University Management School.

The academics found that family firms generally last longer than non family businesses, and are more resilient in downturns and more innovative.

That’s why Cumbria Business Growth Hub, the Chamber’s business support arm, set up the Family Business Network, working with Sue Coulson of The Family Business Network Ltd.

This is an initiative which has proved to be of such value to Cumbrian family businesses that the Network, which was established with funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Defra, is now going from strength to strength without the need for public funding.

The Family Business Network is open to any family business in the county, whether multi-generational or a two or more current family members.

A core element of the offer are InSight events through which family businesses share insights and talk candidly about the business and family business challenges, often with a company tour.

They’re also a great opportunity to network outside the family with others facing similar challenges.

InSight events to date have included contributors such as Lakeland, Warburtons, Holker Group. McLures and SN Group.

How to contact us

Call Cumbria Business Growth Hub on 0844 257 8450 or contact Sue Coulson of the The Family Business Network Ltd on 07866 536050 – email

Contact us today to find out just how Cumbria Family Business Network can help you and your family business on 0844 257 84 50