Financing Your Business

Human scale businesses are often a misfit for banks and other conventional sources of financing. The good news is there are a growing number of alternatives, including innovative collaborations among banks and emerging fintech companies. Here are some resources for financing your business.

Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights

We have endorsed the Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights regarding:

  • Transparent Pricing and Terms
  • Non-Abusive Products
  • Responsible Underwriting
  • Fair Treatment from Brokers
  • Inclusive Credit Access
  • Fair Collection Practices

We encourage you to consider lenders and brokers that are signatories.

The Right Financing for Your Business

In this comprehensive and free introductory course, you'll learn about different types of business financing; how lenders and investors think; how to identify the financing that best fits your needs; and where to turn to get the right financing. There is a lot of material available regarding the what and how of business finance. This course will help you better understand the why.

Although Able Lending is a for-profit platform, it—like Kiva—uses the power of social underwriting in order to offer a variety of loan products at relatively low rates of interest.

Category: Hybrid
Funding Type: Debt

Community Funded offers a white-labeled donation and rewards-based crowdfunding platform. It differs from the likes of Kickstarter and GoFundMe through its emphasis on leveraging and strengthening existing communities such as universities and towns: community-based funding.

Category: Marketplace
Funding Type: Donation, Reward

Kiva is a non-profit platform for crowdfunding character-based loans using social underwriting. A typical term loan is $5,000 for 24 months at 0% APR.

Category: Marketplace
Funding Type: Debt

LocalStake helps small businesses raise $50,000 to $500,000 of preferred stock, convertible debt, or royalty-based debt from local investors who might each invest $5,000 to $20,000. While many marketplaces are more toward the "serve yourself" end of the spectrum, Localstake takes a more active, advisory role in its clients' fundraising process, befitting its facilitation of equity and near-equity types of financing.

Category: Marketplace
Funding Type: Debt, Equity

P2Bi provides lines of credit backed by accounts receivable and inventory to growing businesses that aren't yet bankable. Most borrowers have sales of $1 million to $10 million and a credit need for $1 million+.

Category: Hybrid
Funding Type: Debt