Based on previous fieldwork research we compare two generations of owner-managers of large and medium-size Hungarian privately owned companies. Members of the first group started business after the collapse of the socialist economy in 1989–1990. This group consists mainly of “privatisers” or successful players in the secondary economy. The members of the second group are successful younger entrepreneurs who started private businesses in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Concerning their managerial skills, business strategy, and cultural-political preferences we found remarkable differences between the two groups. Description and careful analysis of these differences may help us to explore the expected behavior of the new generation of entrepreneurs. A characteristic business strategy is a mixture of conflict avoidance and soft cooperation with the government. It remains an open question whether these behavioral modifications will be sufficient for survival and development or whether the autocratic system will force further changes in business behavior.
Keywords: private entrepreneurs, generation gap, business strategy, managerial skills