This book takes a big idea from our popular courses at the Harvard Business School and for the first time shares it beyond campus. The big idea is that you can buy an existing small business, right now, and run it as a CEO. Each year, we teach hundreds of MBA students about this kind of entrepreneurship, and dozens of them follow this path immediately after graduation.

About five years ago, we developed a course on small businesses to fill what we saw as a gap in the school’s offerings. We chose to study small businesses because it allowed us to apply our skills and experience to a vital segment of the economy that we believe should get more attention —especially from entrepreneurially minded men and women who can become owners and managers ...

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