The dictionary definition of entrepreneur is
a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
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: