This course provides students with an opportunity to understand business opportunities and challenges from the hands-on perspective of the owner/general manager of a smaller enterprise. Although many MBA’s are deciding that they would rather lead in smaller businesses than follow in large ones, by the end of this course they will see that “a smaller business is not a little big business” and that managing a smaller enterprise is an art related to, but substantially different from, managing a large corporation. In the course, students will discover that the issues, challenges, and perspectives differ as much as the numbers in the financials as well as what happens after the start-up or acquisition of a firm. Typical issues addressed are finding a job with a smaller enterprise, the characteristics of the smaller enterprise, creating value as a smaller enterprise CEO, management transitions associated with stages of small business growth, challenges of finding, retaining, and losing employees, special issues and considerations in the family-owned business, franchising as a financing and growth mechanism, import-export operations and international dimensions of small business, ethical challenges of everyday life in the small firm, the balancing act of personal, family, and business realities of the smaller firm, and exiting a venture on your terms.


Academic course objectives:


· Teach students the art, issues, challenges, and perspectives involved in managing a small enterprise and assessing the differences and similarities in managing a larger enterprise

· Show the business opportunities, challenges, and ethical issues involved in owning and managing a smaller enterprise

· Assess the needs, logistics, and dimensions of the business after it is started or acquired


Elements of the course grade:


Class contribution 50%

Final examination 50%