SMEs and Family Smes: Specificities from the Portuguese Socio-Business Context


  • Ana Paula Marques Department of Sociology, University of Minho, Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences UMinho Pole, Portugal
  • Maria Titopoulou Polytechnic Institute of Porto (ISCAP-IPP and ESE-IPP), Institute of Sociology, University of Porto (IS-UP), Portugal


SMEs and family businesses, North of Portugal, Segments, Database


The composition of the corporate structure constitutes a relevant indicator of the entrepreneurial and economic dynamism of a certain country or territory. In contrast to past estimates over the past 45 years, the importance of small or very small scale entreprises has been steadily decreasing in the Portuguese business universe. The Portuguese socio-entrepreneurial fabric is predominantly constituted by small and very small scale businesses (micro companies): in 2015, 99,9 percent of the non financial Portuguese sector were SME [Small and Medium-size companies], and the micro scale companies represented around 96 percent of the total number of SME. In this context, family businesses acquire greater relevance due to/for the estimated weight they have on the economy (between 70 percent to 80 percent of the SME, also including great companies quoted on the stock exchange markets), on the creation of jopbs and on the role they play in the local development. Notwithstanding, there still is a significant unawareness of the business layouts of the family companies. In effect, these tend to be heterogeneousin terms of size, activity sector and degree of professionalization of the respective government models and human resources..The ongoing project, “Roadmap for the Portuguese family businesses” (2016-2018), financed by the NORTE 2020/ FEDER has as a central goal to contribute to a better acknowledgement and assessment of the impact of family companies in the northern region, as far as the local, national and international economy is concerned. For this purpose, it will build a database of the Portuguese northern region, mapping all the companies that present the layout of a family business and apply an online survey, combined with in-depth interviews to the various types and segments of family businesses, reinforcing their economic and social roles.




How to Cite

SMEs and Family Smes: Specificities from the Portuguese Socio-Business Context. (2023). European Journal of Marketing and Economics, 6(2), 62-76.