Financing Sources

Human scale businesses are often a misfit for banks and other conventional sources of financing. Alternatives are listed below. We don’t accept referral or affiliate fees from anyone. We make recommendations based upon our understanding of your needs and our personal experience.


A marketplace is an online platform that plays an intermediary role to pair businesses that need capital (debt or equity) with investors or lenders. Terms such as “peer-to-peer” and “crowdfunding” have become somewhat less descriptive as a whole as more institutions become involved as lenders and investors. In contrast, direct lenders and investors use their own money. That is, they are principals in the loan or investment transaction, not agents or intermediaries. Hybrid lenders invest some of their own money and syndicate or crowdfund the balance. Their intent is to demonstrate that they have “skin in the game.”

Funding Types

Donation-based crowdfunding is that which results in contributions or grants with no expectation of a return. Rewards-based crowdfunding incorporates tiered premiums or rewards in exchange for a financial contribution. Pre-selling a new product, the production and development of which is crowdfunded, is a form of rewards-based funding. An equity offering includes the sale of common stock, preferred stock, or convertible debt. Debt includes merchant cash advances, receivables financing in its many forms (asset-based line of credit, factoring, purchase order financing, etc.), equipment loans, and term loans.


Human Scale Business has endorsed the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights, and we encourage you to consider financing from signatories. Please consider joining the Human Scale Business Kiva lending team.