Entrepreneurship is often equated with startups. But is that all entrepreneurship is? 

This webinar will introduce you to search funds, an entrepreneurial buyout model enabling hungry, capable, mid-career managers to buy and run an existing business with seasoned investors and mentors' capital and support. 

Since the model's inception in 1984 by Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business, search funds have generated a pre-tax aggregate IRR of 32.6%, approximately $6.9 billion USD in value for investors and $1.8 billion for entrepreneurs. For most of their history, search funds have existed only in the United States, but the past ten years have seen a 400% increase in global search fund activity. The model has shown great success in Europe and Latin America, with Australia launching its first search fund in 2019.

Today's global demographic and economic trends present a very unique and attractive opportunity for search fund entrepreneurs. Australia's baby boomer business owners are retiring, and over 80% of privately owned businesses have no succession plan in place. Global interest in private equity investing is at an all-time high, and capital is looking for a home in private companies. For the talented, entrepreneurial manager, this is a great time to buy and run a small business.


Jake Nicholson is Managing Director of SMEVentures, an accelerator for search fund entrepreneurs in Australia. A former search fund entrepreneur himself, he was also employee #1 at Search Fund Accelerator in the US, the world's first accelerator of search funds. In addition, Jake teaches entrepreneurship through acquisition at INSEAD, from where he received his MBA and currently serves as entrepreneur-in-residence.

Rob Gaunt is a search fund entrepreneur at SMEVentures, currently seeking a company to buy and operate. Rob was previously CEO at Marine Rescue Technologies in the UK and obtained his MBA from Macquarie University.

About MBA Events

Our MBA events complement the learning experience within the MBA program providing our students with access to employability events, guest speakers, industry events and networking opportunities.