Fingers Family isolated on white background Copyrighted image Credit: Ashumskiy | Family businesses are the backbone of economies all around the world – indeed, the majority of firms are family-controlled, from the millions of modest firms, to commercial giants such as Ford and Wal-Mart. And yet less than a third survive to the second generation. Evan Davis and guests explore the possibilities and pitfalls of the family ownership model.

In the studio this week are:

  • Ian Maclean of luxury knitwear company John Smedley
  • Julie White of drilling and demolition firm D-Drill
  • Tim Wates of construction and development group Wates.

This edition of The Bottom Line is first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 24th January 2013 at 8.30pm. Versions will also be broadcast on BBC World Service, BBC World and BBC News Channel. To find out more, or to listen online where available, pelase visit