BABY STEPS INTO A SEARCH FUND/MICRO PE?

While I don't have plans to start a search fund in the near future, acquiring a business or starting a Micro PE fund is something I"m extremely interested in the long-term. I've ran across a few geographically based micro PE firms and am very intrigued.

Are there any ideas for baby steps down this path without actually searching for/buying a company, specifically with a geographic focus?

Some ideas I've had with intent of getting more small business experience & getting to know the community more:
- offer pro bono (to start) consulting services to small businesses (with current network believe I could get a few companies)
- start a podcast interviewing local business owners (again, geographically focused)

what do you think? are there any other ideas?



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