Family businesses have a remarkable role in the world economy; their role in
economies has been investigated by many researchers. This paper seeks to study the
findings of research conducted over 2008…2011 in Estonia in the field of family
businesses and family business entrepreneurs. This research attempts to define
development and sustainability of family businesses in Estonian economy. After
Estonia regained independence in 1991, private entrepreneurship started to develop,
and many people, particularly in rural areas, set up a family enterprise. After
Estonia’s accession to the European Union in 2004, family business activity boosted
further still. Until 2007, family business activity was rather domestic market
focused; after Estonia was acceded to the Schengen visa area, they started to
successfully sell products and services outside Estonia. The research findings can be
used either for diversifying economic activity of family businesses or for investment
support or in other areas. This research definitely benefits to all enterprising people
who wish to become a family business entrepreneur and who wish to set up a strong
and sustainable family business