Title: Entrepreneurs' early stage anticipation of business transfer and succession processes

Authors: Tarja Römer-Paakkanen; Severi Paakkanen

Addresses: Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Ratapihantie 13, 00520 Helsinki, Finland ' Handelsbanken, Mannilantie 43, 04400 Järvenpää, Finland

Abstract: The people of Europe are ageing, and within the next decade a significant amount of SME- and family firms will face a need for business transfer. The situation is most challenging in firms where the entrepreneurs seem not to even think about retirement or stepping down before it is really necessary on the basis of getting sick or the declining of the business. In this paper, the focus is on the way Finnish entrepreneurs anticipate and prepare to transfer their business to the next generation of entrepreneurs. By considering the early stage attitudes of entrepreneurs towards business transfer or succession, we found four main types of entrepreneur: pro-active arranger, pre-active preventor, re-active fire-fighter and passive lonely-rider. The different stakeholders (i.e., potential buyers or successors, bankers and other investors, consultants and educators) can implement the results when they want to raise awareness among the entrepreneurs that are approaching the age of retirement.

Keywords: business transfer; business transfer process; family business succession; family business succession process; incumbent; transferor; predecessor; potential successor; successor; family firm; family business.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2019.102521

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2019 Vol.38 No.1/2, pp.141 - 164

Available online: 24 Sep 2019 *

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