We have recently published an article on Business Proposal Sub-Heading and Structure. We thought we’d continue this thread of focus on the entrepreneurial spirit and discussing funding for young self-starters looking to venture into self-employment.
Initially, it might be difficult to believe that there are ways for students to actually get money funded into their business projects and ideas. Still, the possibilities are out there.
Nobody expects a college student to have vast amounts of wealth to fund their ideas to fruition. Thus, obtaining funds elsewhere is a practical if not evident solution.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to become a full-on entrepreneur, read on. We’ve compiled a list of financial resources that aspiring businessmen/women can look into.
On a side note, for those who want to ease up the burden of academia in order to concentrate more on their business plans, Studyfy offers tutoring services for all kinds of students. Their platform is certified when you’re searching ‘who can proofread my work’, and the services are very much affordable. We recommend that you give it a go.
Moving on, here is our list of tips and advice on where to get funding for a business project:
Grants and Loans
A journey to finding a reliable source of funding wouldn’t be complete if students don’t take advantage of the different loans and grants that banks and the government offer.
Do note, that you must do thorough and proper research about everything concerning the grant/loan before signing up for it. The specific requirements for each application will evidently be different. You should definitely know what you’re getting into.
There are many different types of grants and loans, so narrow your search down and find the right one. Here are some helpful resources:
- Grants.gov: This website provides information on over 1000 grant programs, which makes it an indispensable resource. Students should make sure to use this website to help them with their search.
- Bank of America: Here is an example of a loan that small businesses can get from banks. There are of course many more like this. Bank of America provides different funding options for businesses to be able to buy inventory, refinance debt and/or finance account receivables.
- SBA-guaranteed loans: This type of loan exists for businesses that’ve been rejected by banks since the banks have concluded that the business is too risky to be funded.
As stated before, students should do proper research on each option. Allocate some time for preparation before taking the responsibility of applying for funding.
Find an Investor
For students who stay on top of their networking, this will be an easier task to accomplish. Having the right connections can really switch people up in a better lane. Finding and securing a reliable and willing investor can set students up to progress in their business quicker than they can imagine.
However, this option might not be accessible right away. Or you might need to take a good amount of time to secure the trust of a wealthy financier to fund your business (especially if they’re complete strangers).
This does not mean that it’s impossible to find one, angel investors for example are individuals who are still accessible to small business owners for funding. Angel investors can be a family member or a friend, or they can be a complete stranger.
Where do you find one? Here are some websites that host angel investors:
There is no one-way-fits-all strategy to find an investor – online or offline, or a combination of both can work out for the willing entrepreneur.
Venture capitalists are investors who provide funding to companies and businesses that demonstrate big potential to grow in exchange for an equity stake.
VCs usually lend their help to start-ups and businesses during the commercialization phase of a business. It’s possible for students to persuade a VC to fund their project. However, do note that there are prerequisites before this is possible. A student would have to:
- List their business for legibility and choose a business organization form;
- Have a concrete plan with visible results and thought-out steps.
A VC will either be a private investor or a firm, and a collaboration with one typically means a long-term partnership. Evidently, the VC(s) expect a high return rate for their investment.
Just like the other sources of funding, students need to do proper research and prep before trying out this option.
Crowdfunding can be another solution for small businesses to have some capital to start. For those who don’t know what crowdfunding is, it’s the action of soliciting money from a vast amount of people – and the internet really makes this quite easy.
Crowdfunding platforms include:
What the student needs for this to work is to drive enough traffic to their plead, this means it needs to be attractive enough in the first place. Not unlike the other options, the student needs to prep for this to work.
Accion is another viable option and resource for financial funding. Their mission is to provide funds for families, small businesses, and communities that they deem have been overlooked by the financial systems.
Accion claims to advocate for financial inclusivity. Thus, getting set up with this organization might be a very smart move for small businesses. Moreover, the website offers advice and insights on new technologies.
Everyone starts from somewhere, and students need to be resourceful especially if they plan to be in business. There are numerous pathways one can take to obtaining a substantial amount of money for their business plans, so remember not to lose hope and limit yourself!
Be wary. However, if creating a successful business is what you want – a huge amount of sacrifice, dedication, and consistency need to be there for it to work out. A loan or a grant cannot substitute the work needed to be done for a business to actually thrive.
Being an entrepreneur is a difficult path, but it can potentially be incredibly rewarding for those who are serious about it.