Earlier this month I blogged the desire to strike out on one’s own and launch a small business.
Easier said than done?
We all need a hand up occasionally, especially when faced with important decisions or funding large projects (home down payments come to mind). So too for the budding entrepreneur. Fortunately, there are vital resources available to get your business from business plan to revenue reality. Here are just a handful of sources that may provide the lucrative funding a promising business venture may pursue.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Officially established over 60 years ago, through an act of Congress, the United States Small Business Administration was created to “aid, counsel, assist and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small business concerns.” Within less than a year of origination, the SBA was not only giving and guaranteeing business loans to small businesses; they were offering technical support and business training as well.
By year-end 2015 the SBA had approved over 30B worth of loans – not only giving a hand up to small businesses but driving economic growth simultaneously. Additionally, the SBA offers programs specifically designed to help develop and grow minority– and women-owned businesses.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
Working with multiple government entities and partnerships the MBDA is principally a U.S. agency that champions growth and international competitiveness of minority-owned businesses. The MBDA can help gain access to capital and contracts via their nationwide network of business centers. These centers are manned with professionals armed with the expertise to offer financial counseling and growth strategies.
While the term crowdfunding might be fairly self-explanatory, that is funding a new venture or project product launch through the financial patronage of others (“the crowd”); the basics require old-fashioned sales and marketing skills.
Who are the members of the crowd? Family, friends, banks, enthusiastic backers, and angel investors are among the many.
Be prepared to create a compelling business case and marketing pitch to effectively showcase your ideas to potential investors. These investors, in turn, hope to reap the rewards –or equity- from your brilliant idea, flawless execution and eventual success.
Where to start
Other than old fashioned email solicitations, face to face requests or telephone tag there are a several platforms available to facilitate the collection of capital. Although hundreds of crowdfunding sites exist, the top sites for harvesting capital can be found here:
Lest we forget, grants (which you do not need to pay back) are a terrific resource to grow your business. Federally funded Grants.gov might not offer seed money for burgeoning enterprises, but once business is off the ground, there are a variety of options to assist with expanding the new venture. The government website is easy to navigate and is updated regularly to reflect new monies accessible.
2017 just may be the year for your breakaway move.