Alternative Funding sources, as with the business world in general, has been revolutionized by the growth of online commerce. There have never been more opportunities for a new or growing business to locate and secure financing through a variety of forms and repayment options. Here is a synopsis of two current and valuable resources for alternative business funding.
OpportunityFinance Network is a website dedicated to bringing together other investment companies. They have cultivated a membership that includes financing companies from a variety of interest groups. The requirements to obtain financing vary from company to company. One example, AccionUSA, is a group designed to provide microfinancing for low and moderate-income entrepreneurs.
They also conduct and participate in networking conferences in order to continue to increase their membership and to connect financiers with the up and coming businesses that require funding.
The Economic Development Administration is a government agency designed to provide grants to companies that promote job growth and benefit the global economy. They currently have many open opportunities including the new 2014 Economic Development Assistance Program. The requirements to secure funding include city, county, and state government agencies in the United States, or programs that promote higher education.
They also provide educational resources that promote consumer awareness regarding the organization’s message to grow and cultivate progress.
While obtaining the funding necessary for a project is a fundamental and crucial part of starting or growing a business, determining the best source of alternative funding is just as, if not more, important.
Is it best to accept capital in exchange for a percentage of equity in the company? Or should an entrepreneur secure a loan with a set repayment and profit negotiated with the lender? Ultimately, one should raise funds through all avenues that do not require repayment first. Personal savings, the investment of family and friends, and any grants applicable though government or trade associations can all help to start a business without creating debt.
What is best for your business, and how will you secure alternative funding?