If anybody is interested in investing in individual businesses you should watch the show SHARK TANK. It's on ABC (no cable needed) on Friday nights.
It's a great way to see how venture capitalists think about individual businesses. It also shows a great way to see how creative they get with the deals that they structure.
If you're leery of the stock market this could be a great way for you to invest in companies without having to deal with Wall St. This is probably the most fun form of investing and you'll learn the most about business very quickly!
Caution: this form of investing can be highly risky and prone to fraud if you're not careful. Tread lightly at first. There are also a number of books written on the subject. They should be read first prior to an investment as well.