Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Patsy Kasen


Small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of a country’s economic success. But some small business owners lack strategies to successfully transfer their business to a new owner, increasing the probability that the business will cease to exist. Because baby boomer small business owners are retiring at a high rate, long-term local economic sustainability may be affected. Grounded in resource-based view theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies small business owners used to transfer their business to a new owner. The participants were 6 small business owners who successfully transferred their business to a new owner in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and documentation available from business websites. A thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. The following 3 strategies were used to successfully transfer a business: independent sale to an outsider, sale to a partner, and sale to a family member. The 5 subthemes that emerged were: planning for exit, building a profitable business, economic conditions, financial implications, and franchisor requirements. A key recommendation for small business owners is to develop a transfer strategy years before their business’s anticipated sale. The implications for positive social change include the potential to improve the community’s long-term economic prosperity when small business owners successfully transfer their business to a new owner.