Winning business strategies from CEOs of 50 successful small businesses (some of which are now large corporations) who share their experiences to help those starting or growing their own business.

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What Readers Have Said…

If you read one book about building a business, make it Barreto’s. He knows and understands the small business mindset better than anyone I know.
Tom Stemburg, founder, Staples
Barreto has the passion, the experience, the know-how, and the know-who to help any small business succeed.
Steve Strauss, USA Today
You should read The Engine of America if you are serious about learning from those who shared a dream of success and created their own reality. Barreto has brought together the knowledge, experience, and passion of those who have made it and met its multitude of challenges. Read it; it will help you join that list.
Professor Michael Nobel, PhD, Nobel Family Society
As the former administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and an entrepreneur, Mr. Barreto has seen it and done it. His perspective of small business is honed by interviews with successful entrepreneurs. Start this book with Chapter 13 because its ABCs of Success provide the framework for understanding the “how and why” behind the advice in the other chapters.

Barreto’s advice will deter some readers from starting a business; it will inspire others.

Chicago Daily Herald
Barreto mixes the entrepreneurs’ stories with his own story and the story of his family’s various businesses. He blends in advice from others, a financial planner here, an academic there. The result is a well-written book that’s loaded with excellent advice and helpful examples. It’s also structured sensibly.
Wally Bock,Three Star Leadership
Every small business owner should jump at the chance to learn from the experience and success of those who have made it. Barreto is uniquely qualified to compile those stories and share them with America’s entrepreneurs
Kenneth Yancey, CEO, SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business
Hector Barreto has long been a champion of small business. He knows better then anyone I know, why some small businesses thrive while others fail; and he shares these insights in The Engine of America.
Rosario Marin, Former Treasurer of the United States
To be perfectly honest I wasn’t expecting the book to be a triumph, but after reading the first few pages, I was hooked. I ended up finishing the entire book, which is over 200 pages long, in one sitting.

The difference between this book and most books on business and entrepreneurship, is the perspective from which the words were written. Most authors in this genre are successful entrepreneurs themselves, who write about their own journey and opinions. Hector Barreto, on the other hand, is writing from outside the box. He was the former administrator of the US small business administration. Playing such a significant role in the SBA allowed Hector to meet thousands of successful entrepreneurs as well as those who did not do quite as well. He has literally seen it all when it comes to small business. Because of this extensive network, the book not only tells Hector’s story, but its nicely illustrated with real life examples, quotes and situations from entrepreneurs from all walks of life. Many of these examples are motivational and inspirational while others teach valuable lessons. This is a book that any entrepreneur at any stage can appreciate.

The end of the book provides a great deal of resources for entrepreneurs. There are tons or URLs and contacts that may come in handy. Overall, I think this is a must read for entrepreneurs of all stages. I wasn’t expecting a triumph when I got the book, but it proved to be a valuable collection of experience and expertise

For those of you considering a career in small business, “The Engine of America” is the book for you. The book is separated into 2 parts. Part 1 deals with the principles of success in small business. This includes inspirational stories of small business entrepreneurs who have beaten all odds to become successful. Part 2 is lists some of the helpful tools for small business entrepreneurs in America.

Great read for the (potential) small business entrepreneur as it contains many lessons that will help you and your business. It’s well worth the $20 that Amazon is asking for this hard cover.

FrugalTrader, Million Dollar
Hector Barreto believes if you can teach a small business owner something he or she doesn’t know, but which is critical to the growth of their small business or which allows them to avoid a critical mistake, you have helped put them on the road to success. That’s what The Engine of America will do.


Small business is the engine that drives America’s new economy. In The Engine of America, former administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Hector Barreto and veteran journalist Bob Wagman reveal the winning business strategies of CEOs from 50 companies. For all those starting or growing their own small business, the wisdom, experience, and counsel of these successful leaders provides inspirational and thoughtful advice on making it as an entrepreneur…

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In this book, Barreto shares details of business success, and the insights he gained while administering the nation’s largest small business loan, training, and counseling organization. Some of those sharing their stories in The Engine of America have grown their businesses from the most humble of beginnings into corporate giants whose brands are household names and whose operations are integral parts of the national economy. Others may not be instantly recognizable, but what they have in common is success.

The Author

It’s been said that the most influential books are written by those who have lived what they write about. That said, there is no one more qualified to bring together traditional achievements and innovative ideas for entrepreneurs based on the experiences of those who have enjoyed great success.

After being unanimously approved by the United States Senate to serve as Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Hector raised the bar in his five years in office in every category of SBA activity. More opportunities were created for women, for minorities and for veterans than ever before. More start-ups were given the counseling and financial guarantees needed to grow and create jobs than ever before.

He brought to that position of influence a career of small business management, civic leadership and family inspiration. He has brought to this book all of that and more. Having learned from the giants of American industry who remember their days in garages and home offices. Small business is the Engine of America, and Hector’s book fuels it for overdrive. Hector has returned to California, where he helps corporations interact with smaller firms and guides those smaller firms into their new unknown territory.

Touring Schedule

Hector will be touring the United States during October, November and December, appearing on local and national media and speaking to groups of small business owners and corporate executives anxious to work with them. This page will keep you posted monthly on where he will be and when.

Locations & Dates