The best form of capital is a sale, and nothing replaces profitable sales, but there are supplementary sources of capital that are necessary to help a business grow. From the personal capacity of the founder to their commercial loan officer, and from crowdfunding to revenue share agreements, the array of products can be daunting. For some teams angel investors and venture capitalists provide a viable route for equity-based funding.
Opportunity Zones and other under-invested areas, as well as lower income founders, require unique mechanisms to provide adequate funding. Microfinance institutions, community development banks, credit unions and public sector incentives, all play a role in catalyzing this vital capital flow.
It’s difficult to raise capital, and particularly for founders facing economic, geographic and demographic barriers to access. We work directly with small business founders, seeking debt-based finance. We have walked this journey ourselves funding businesses, and speaking with myriad bankers and investors. The challenges can be daunting:
We get it. There’s a lot to learn, and a lot of people with whom we all need to connect – potential customers, other founders, suppliers, advisors and mentors. Open Trellis provides an online community of peer founders, and we provide opportunities to learn the core skills required to be a small business owner. We supplement this content, coaching and connections with our capital access program.
There are many founders who have established a small business, generated sales, and then require finance for expansion. We fill the gap for those businesses that may have used a microlender or personal funds, but are not yet ready for a conventional bank.