Acquiring and operating an existing small business is a time-tested path to entrepreneurship. Rather than creating a new venture from scratch, the entrepreneur can search for a current business – which has people, product, and process assets – and acquire those assets to mitigate the start-up risks. The entrepreneur can focus instead on executing a turnaround, scaling the business, or whatever strategy best positions the company for success. The search process and the acquisition itself may be funded by outside investors. This path to entrepreneurship is often called Entrepreneurship through Acquisition, or ETA.
To learn more about entrepreneurship through acquisition, please check out the following interviews of ETA practitioners conducted by Fuqua students.
- Start here: An introduction to this series of interviews and an accompanying slide deck Introduction to ETA by Prof. Shawn Munday
- Perspective from an entrepreneur actively searching for a business to acquire (“Searcher”): Interview with CJ Casselli MBA ’19
- Perspective from a Search Fund investor: Interview with Badge Stone, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, WSC & Company
- Perspective from an entrepreneur actively operating an acquired business (“Operator”): Interview with Brian Alvarez, CEO of Manley’s Boiler
If you are interested in learning how to get started with ETA, including recommendations on Fuqua courses to take, student clubs, and other activities to consider, take a look at our Scaling Middle-Market Firms page.