Home Business Report indicates 94% of Nigerian family businesses lack clear, communicated ESG strategy – Report

Report indicates 94% of Nigerian family businesses lack clear, communicated ESG strategy – Report

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The recently released “Africa Family Business Survey 2023” by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) presents a concerning picture of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies within Nigerian family businesses.

According to the survey, a staggering 94% of these businesses in Nigeria lack a communicated ESG strategy. This stands in contrast to the continental average of 88%, with Kenya at 85% and South Africa at 88%.

Communication Challenges and Mission Transparency in African Family Businesses

The report delves deeper, revealing that a significant portion of African family businesses also fall short in external communication of their core mission.

On average, 65% of African family businesses keep their purpose under wraps. When broken down by country, the numbers indicate that 62% of Kenyan, 43% of Nigerian, and 71% of South African family businesses refrain from communicating their purposes externally.

Moreover, the survey sheds light on the reluctance of these businesses to publicly advocate for or against critical societal issues.

A continental average of 85% of African family businesses opt to remain silent on pressing matters. The country-specific data is equally disconcerting: Kenya at 91%, Nigeria at 94%, and South Africa at 88%.

Reluctance in Advocating Societal Issues and Embracing Diversity in African Family Businesses

In the arena of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the statistics are not any more encouraging. According to the continental average, 76% of African family businesses lack a purpose statement that explicitly promotes DEI.

A breakdown by country reveals that 88% of Kenyan, 64% of Nigerian, and 82% of South African family businesses are without such a statement.

The report, a collaborative effort between the Family Business Network (FBN) and PwC, aims to spotlight the growing disconnect between family businesses and their various stakeholders, including employees and customers.

This chasm, the report argues, has broader implications, affecting not just the businesses themselves but also having a ripple effect on the global economy.

Importance of Trust and Suggestions for Improvement in African Family Businesses

To grasp the significance of family businesses on both a global and local scale, one must consider that they contribute to 70% of the world’s economy.

In Nigeria, leading companies like Dangote Group, BUA, Doyin Group, LAPO Microfinance Bank, Emzor, Elizade, and Conoil are all family-owned.

PwC underscores that trust serves as a pivotal competitive advantage for family businesses, distinguishing them from other enterprises.

Supporting this claim, the Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that family businesses garner a trust score that is six percentage points higher than non-family businesses.

However, this trust advantage has been eroding over the past decade, from 2013 to 2023.

Forhad Forbes, Chairman of the Family Business Network International, suggests that the survey’s findings underscore the importance of aligning closely with new generations of potential owners.

He advocates for the establishment of family governance structures and professional management practices.

Moreover, the survey emphasizes the necessity of restoring trust with external stakeholders and employees. This can be achieved by adhering to core values and purpose, committing to ESG strategies, and being accountable.

Currently, while 96% of customers say they need to trust African family businesses, only 56% do. The trust gap is similar among employees, with businesses having the trust of just 47% despite needing the trust of 94%.

  • “Transparency is critical. It has evolved into an essential mechanism for combating unethical practices and fostering trust.
  • Considering that family businesses contribute to 70% of the global economy, they have a unique opportunity to rebuild trust and advocate for a more sustainable business model,” Forbes adds.

The Africa Family Business Survey 2023 aims to understand how family business leaders view their companies and the business landscape. Conducted online in collaboration with the Family Business Network (FBN), the survey collected data from 172 interviews across 12 African territories between October 20, 2022, and January 22, 2023.

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