Finding Funding: Goldilocks Approach

These resources can help you learn about and gain access to the right type of funding:

The SBA 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program is Uncle Sam’s main small business financing tool. It helps secure loans for small businesses that are unable to find financing on reasonable terms through conventional lending channels, and will guarantee up to $1 million. The SBA website has an excellent section on financing that includes helpful advice on funding basics, estimating costs, personal vs. business loans, equity financing, eligibility standards, steps to successful borrowing and lists of small business lenders. For details on all SBA programs visit www.sba.gov/financing. †

vFinance is a business finance portal where you can get leads on venture capital sources and angel investors. Some information is free, while other items involve a cost. Visit www.vfinance.com. †

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The National Venture Capital Association, an industry trade group based in Arlington , VA , can help link you to hundreds of venture capital and private equity firms nationwide. The NVCA website has a good “Industry Overview” that describes the basics of how venture capitalists work, including the different types of firms and kinds of entrepreneurs they want to work with. Best of all is the list of NVCA members, available on the Web site for free. Click on the name of a VC firm and it will take you to its website. NVCA also sells print and CD versions of the directory. Visit www.nvca.org or call (703) 524-2549. †

Count Me In is an online micro-lender that offers access to business loans of $500 to $10,000 for women entrepreneurs across the U.S. who have nowhere else to turn for that all-important first funding. Visit www.count-me-in.org. †

CircleLending is a resource every entrepreneur planning to borrow from family or friends should know about. This firm provides all of the loan administration, recordkeeping, payment processing and structural support often lacking in loans of this type. A free 16-page report called Financing Your Small Business: How to Borrow from People You Know addresses common concerns, including the debt vs. equity issue, and offers helpful worksheets and sample Promissory Notes. Visit www.circlelending.com or call (800) 805-2472. †

The National Business Incubation Association offers information on incubators and can help you locate one in your area. Look under “Links to Member Incubators” in the Resource Center and select your state from the pull-down menu. Visit www.nbia.org. †

Need cash for your business? The Federal Government has it. For the latest and greatest government loans and other government funding resources, the SBA is an important first step to finding the funding you need. http://www.sba.gov/financing/index.html

Looking for start-up capital. Your best bet is to start with some angels looking over your shoulder. http://www.gaebler.com/angel-investor-networks.htm

The federal government created SBIR grants to encourage small business to explore their technological potential, while providing the incentives to profit from its commercialization. http://www.sba.gov/sbir/

Need cash for your business? The Federal Government has it. For the latest and greatest grant opportunities the federal government has to offer, check out www.fedgrants.gov

† content provided by © 2005 BizBest Media Corp

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