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Connect the Daughters

Sons aren't the only offspring taking over family businesses.

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This story appears in the December 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Contrary to stereotypes, family businesses are not always passed on to the first-born son. And it's often easier for daughters to take the company over from fathers than for sons, says Joseph H. Astrachan, director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. "Daughters typically do not need to compete with their fathers to get approval. Rather, they can help without the fathers [feeling] pushed aside," explains Astrachan.

How common is it for a daughter to assume control? "Daughters are given real consideration in well over a third of the cases I see," says Astrachan. "I believe this will continue as more successful family businesses headed by women become known, making the option more culturally acceptable."

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