As an economically and politically independent initiative of family businesses, the Foundation encourages dialogue among family business owners, supports research activities and institutions focusing on this type of business and promotes a better perception of family businesses in the political and public area.
Studies are also regularly conducted in the family business context. For the study on “The Economic Importance of the Family Business”, scientific institutes gathered key data on the economic performance of Germany’s largest family businesses over a period of ten years. It revealed that in 2012 the top 500 family businesses employed 4.6 million people worldwide.
This is more than all employees working in Gerrmany’s skilled crafts. Family businesses were shown to have continually created jobs: since 2006, the top 500 family businesses generated 700,000 jobs worldwide compared with only 250,000 at the DAX-27companies. The same applies to domestic employment: the 500 family-owned companies with the largest number of employees expanded their workforce between 2006 and 2012 from 2.97 to 3.29 million employees, making this an increase of 11 percent.
Family businesses are a mainstay of the German economy. Worldwide, the Hettich group of companies employs over 6000 members of staff, 3000 of these in Germany. At the moment, 245 young people are completing an apprenticeship or work-study programme (dual course of study) at Hettich. Hettich is the largest employer in the Herford district.