Development paths of entrepreneurs and family businesses
OPUS 17, dr hab. OSKAR KOWALEWSKI, prof. INE PAN
Entrepreneurs and innovators operating within family businesses influence the economic reality and social development in almost all economies of the world. Hence, family businesses are often the subject of scientific research, although most of the analyzes present in the literature concern their role, as well as the conditions for growth in developed economies. The aim of our research is to increase knowledge about the functioning of family businesses on the markets of Central Europe. This year marks the 30th anniversary of many countries in the region entering the path of transformation from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. Family businesses played a key role during this period. At the same time, today, entrepreneurs in Central Europe face unique challenges, such as regulatory risk, quality of law enforcement, availability of capital, growing competition both locally and often from global corporations. Finally, most of the family businesses that currently shape the face of entrepreneurship in Central Europe were founded shortly after the political breakthrough of 1989, i.e. three decades ago. Hence, most of them currently face the challenge of succession. Central European markets are therefore a very interesting area of research on family businesses and entrepreneurship, which can significantly complement economic knowledge in the literature. Our research project will focus on three main issues, formally separate, but, in our opinion, complementary to each other. First, we intend to examine how the decision on how to start a business in a given industry (e.g. building a start-up, taking over a state-owned enterprise or taking over a private company) affects the company's performance. Secondly, we plan to check whether changes in the level of founder involvement over the years affected the performance of enterprises in Central European countries. Third, we want to examine the factors determining founders' decisions to leave the company, as well as the relationship between the way founders leave and the company's performance. Each of the above-mentioned areas of research concerns a key stage of the company's operation, i.e. starting a business, developing the company and finally determining the moment and method of leaving the business by the founder. We believe that the results of our scientific project will be interesting not only for academics, economic politicians and managers (although for them in the first place), but also for a wide audience.