Examines the use of micro-businesses for undergraduate placements on business and management courses. Such businesses are often not considered for placements by HEIs because graduates have tended to obtain employment in larger organisations. However, the graduate labour market is changing and micro-businesses can be used as a vehicle for linking theory and practice and developing transferable skills. The research involved an in-depth study of two cases where the author operated as a participant observer. Key factors contributing to the efficacy of the work experience were found to include the preparation of students for their placements; mentoring of both students and placement providers by a suitably qualified academic tutor; and support following the placement to help all the parties involved to reflect and learn from their experience. In particular there is a need for the development of effective learning networks consisting of students, micro-business owner-managers and placement tutors.