A study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/news-room/press-releases/2021/global-family-business-survey.html among 2,801 owners of family-run companies around the world shows that 80% of them take an active role in corporate social responsibility by participating in donation campaigns, different forms of relief programmes and grants for people in need, while 71% of the family-based companies are doing their best to minimise lay-offs and to keep their staff on during the pandemic. Good deeds of this scale are not reported by other forms of corporate governance where the main focus is still on profits, became clear from the statements of the participants in the study. A good example of how family entrepreneurship can support local communities during unprecedented social and health catastrophes is given by the philanthropist and founder of the Family Business Network – Bulgaria, Petar Mandjoukov. He ranks among the leading European donators in the fight against COVID-19, investing in a state-of-the-art molecular genetics laboratory for the needs of the Faculty of Biology at the oldest higher learning institution in Bulgaria. Thanks to this incredibly generous gesture, today the scientific community in his home country is on the verge of a major breakthrough related to the genome of the virus which could make possible the precise prognosis of the course of the disease in different individuals in the future.
‘Empathy with the problems of society and with individual suffering is the basis on which I am building my business and raising my three sons’, commented the entrepreneur. ‘Our family business is founded on intransient values. We care deeply about our legacy to the next generations. Never before has humankind witnessed such a vicious and ubiquitous crisis as Covid-19. This is why our new role models must be leaders with high morals, whose horizons reach beyond fast profits. Look at Bill Gates whose foundation is redirecting a large part of his personal riches to projects of benefit for society. The more successful people realise that giving is our moral obligation, the less painful our way out of the crisis will be, said the Bulgarian businessman. And in full support of his words, in the first months of 2020 he set aside more than EUR 1 million of his personal wealth to provide ambulances and life-saving medical equipment for the Bulgarian Military Medical Academy. This gracious act helped save millions of lives in the height of the COVID-19 crisis, according to healthcare professionals working at the medical facility.
Family businesses worldwide are fully focused on their social role, concluded Peter English from PricewaterhouseCooper, and added that for the most part participants in the survey reported stable growth in the companies they run and had an optimistic view of the future in spite of the pandemic.