Many Darden alumni dream of running their own businesses at some point in their careers. Autonomous ownership can take many forms, from launching and growing a new business, to buying and running an ongoing concern.
There are as many different approaches to becoming a business owner as there are business concepts themselves. As such there is no one right way to pursue this goal. Likewise, there are a vast number of resources to support entrepreneurship.
Here are some good resources for getting started on the path to ownership:
The Small Business Administration's (SBA) page Ten Steps to Starting A Business is a practical resource guide for working through the steps towards business ownership: starting, planning, financing, naming, locating, structuring, licensing, etc.
A critical early decision for any entrepreneur is whether the entity's governing structure will be for-profit, a nonprofit or perhaps the new hybrid b-corp (aka Benefit Corporation), a for-profit firm driven by a social/environmental mission.
Buying an existing business requires first finding opportunities that meet your specific purchase criteria. Consulting with a business broker is one place to start, in turn requiring you to find a good broker. The International Business Brokers Association has information about the process of using a business broker as well as a searchable directory of brokers worldwide.
Another path to business purchase is through a franchise; the International Franchise Association addresses Franchising 101 topics as well as listing thousands of franchise opportunities by category. BizBuySell is an online marketplace that acts on all fronts: business-for-sale listings, broker directory and franchise listings.
Independent consulting is distinct type of entrepreneurship.
The Darden community of entrepreneurs includes these resources: