Most small business owners can identify with the challenges of getting financing for their business or funding for a new product. There's no short, easy road to funding, most of the time, but these small business funding resources can help.
Kabbage has to be the most unique small business funding source found recently. They have created a powerful platform that, in my understanding, is creating a real-life look at how your business is doing to help you grow it.
They don't only look at credit scores, as so many traditional lenders do. They look at things like your Paypal, Ebay, Amazon, or Intuit QuickBooks account to figure out if you qualify and how much of a credit line you can receive. It is impressive.
Another innovative program and approach is found with Kiva, the microfinance platform. Etsy wrote about it. There is official information about zero interest (0%) with the Kiva Zip program (in Alpha, not even in Beta), and success stories on the main page.
The Lending Club
The Lending Club is a name that many consumers and business owners have heard before, but it is a site worth checking. Their peer-to-peer approach has taken the banking world by storm and it looks likely to continue in the business loan sector.
SmartBiz SBA loans
SmartBiz SBA Loans ($5,000 – $150,000) is a small business lender, but one that promises a much better process than traditional banks, on SBA type loans. If you've ever gone through the SBA formal process, you know that it is rather comprehensive.
Funding Circle has a large UK presence as well as a US site. It is an online marketplace for small business loans. The site explains you can find out in approximately one week if you qualify for a loan.
Ami Kassar CEO of MultiFunding has a useful website on how the different funding options work and his consulting brokerage serves as a matchmaker for businesses that need more than just the “best rate” and need help with more complicated loan options.
OnDeck and BoeFly
Here are a couple of other small business loan providers that are promising an easier process, lower rates, and other options that might make their loans more appealing to you. OnDeck and BoeFly.
QuickBooks Financing has a site dedicated to helping you find the right financing. It is a matching engine that allows their selected lenders to provide you with the right loan. I'm presuming it also uses some of your QuickBooks data, but I'm not certain of that as I did not submit data on the form.
Wells Fargo and SBA Bank of America
There is no shortage of traditional lenders where you can walk into a branch and talk to someone about an SBA loan, so I would be remiss for not including at least a couple that I believe in. The Wells Fargo small business loan page offers a range of good information. And the SBA Loan page at Bank of America may help you sort different SBA options.
If you have ever considered factoring, where you get financing based on your receivables, then I recommend this guide from RTS Financial, Your Complete Guide To Factoring.
PayPal Working Capital
PayPal Working Capital lets you pay your loan back as you get paid. A factoring method, of sorts.
Chase Mission Main Street Grants
One of my favorite places to look for less traditional financing options is the Small Business Events here on Small Business Trends. I used it to help compile this list, so I know there are some great funding options, often awards or contests, worth considering. This Chase Mission Main Street Grants is a terrific example. There is new information on the 2014 program.
You may need help to understand if a Government grant is worth pursuing. There are some large scale federal programs that pass funds through to universities and other nonprofit type institutions where you can sometimes find just the right help for your company.
City and State Level Resources
As I mentioned above, there are many city and state level resources, but too many to explain. If you search for your city or state combined with economic development, small business funding, and other related terms, you may find a niche program that serves your needs.
Here is a page from the Nevada Small Business Development Center where you'll get an idea of what you find at the state level. There are community-focused programs, as an example of a city program, for the Philadelphia area, Loan Programs – City of Philadelphia Business Services Center. Scroll down through the long list to find the smaller loan amounts.
Opportunity finance Network
Opportunity Finance Network (part of Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses initiative) is a big initiative sponsored by Goldman Sachs. The goal is to help educate business owners on a wide range of topics, to give you the best chance for success, in addition to access to capital. You must have an established business, with revenues.