Business Courier: Entrepreneurship through acquisition creates a new path to business ownership

Alex Burkhart talks teaching the concept in the classroom, Cincinnati’s unique position

With baby boomers set to relinquish trillions in assets in the coming decades, an opportunity for members of younger generations to step into business ownership arises.

Alex Burkhart, an adjunct instructor of management at the University of Cincinnati, sees ample opportunity future business leaders to take part in entrepreneurship through acquisition, the practice of purchasing and building upon an existing business.

Alex Burkhart headshot

Alex Burkhart, adjunct instructor of management.

The city is ripe for it, Burkhart told the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Burkhart teaches in UC's Carl H. Lindner College of Business

“We’re not Silicon Valley. We don’t have the tech entrepreneurs they have on the coasts. But we do have great entrepreneurs. This is a vertical the city has a right to win on, and more people need to have awareness and support it however they can.”

There is mutual benefit in entrepreneurship through acquisition. Family-owned, small and/or private businesses often struggle with succession planning. This strategy offers those businesses an avenue to achieve liquidity and to solve succession planning issues. 

The Goering Center for Family and Private Business, which provides resources and guidance for companies in these situations, reports that only about 30% of family-owned businesses will be passed down to a second generation, with far fewer transitioning to the third generation and beyond. This leads businesses to seek private equity, employee stock option plans, or a sale to internal leadership or another business as alternative options.

Alongside more traditional paths to entrepreneurship, Burkhart teaches students about entrepreneurship through acquisition in his Introduction to Innovation (ENTR 3001) course. In introducing this concept in the classroom, UC finds itself among top schools such as the University of Chicago and Yale University, which offer similar programs. 

Read more about recent entrepreneurship through acquisition in Cincinnati from the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Featured image at top: Aerial view of downtown Cincinnati. Lindner stock image.

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