Business Transfer Ecosystems in Fostering Enterprise Continuity
2016 (English)In: Creating Solutions with Sustainable Entrepreneurship, 2016Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
The aim of this paper is to present the key elements and content of a business transfer ecosystem and examine the supportiveness of such a system in five European countries. A business transfer comprises a change of ownership of any firm or business from one person/legal entity to another person/legal entity with the aim of assuring the continued existence and commercial activity of the enterprise - when more than 50 % of the assets or shares are transferred (see e.g. Sten 2006; Van Teeffelen 2012). This definition includes both family successions and transfers to external buyers.
The study also seeks to demonstrate a research gap regarding the necessity of an evidence-based design for business transfer ecosystems in fostering enterprise continuity.
The study is based on a multiple case study involving five country cases. Data shows that there is a considerable variety regarding forms of business discontinuity, which is in line with former research. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey, e.g., in Croatia only 0,83% of all business exits are based on opportunities to sell compared to 5,3% in Sweden. In Finland 15% of all exits are caused by none-profitable businesses vs. 56% in Spain; and financing difficulties is a reason for 24% of exits in Croatia and only for 2,7% in Sweden (Singer et al., 2014). The analysis further shows that business transfer ecosystems are very country specific. The different ecosystems studied are in different stages of development, ranging from highly developed infrastructure to practically none at all. The level of the business transfer infrastructure (e.g. advisory services, financing) varies, as does the complexity of relevant legislation. There are also similarities; in all countries the potential for business transfers is highest among micro firms, and none of the studied countries has a public database for business transfers.
As the different stages of the life cycle of a firm (birth, growth, maturity, exit) are not evenly covered as regards statistical monitoring, the exit phase is susceptible to assumption-based approaches regarding the development of related ecosystems. The study’s findings contribute to the general awareness that a business transfer represents a phase in the firm’s life cycle that offers different possible strategic decisions. In sum, business transfers can be seen as an essential element of enterprise continuity and development.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Business Transfer, Business Transfer Ecosystem, Exit, Continuity
Research subject Humanities and Social sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11834OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-11834DiVA: diva2:894989
6th Leuphana Conference on Entrepreneurship (LCE2016)- January 14 - 16, 2016 – Leuphana University of Lüneburg
ProjectsBusiness Transfer Awareness Raising (BTAR)
FunderEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 633400