Resources & Things
The purpose of providing a list of resources, is to help women entrepreneurs who may be seeking business financing of some kind. Whether you're seeking a business loan, or line of credit; a grant, or equity investment , this page could have a resource to help start, or grow your business!
Venture Capital Funds
29 Black-Owned Banks
The banks listed below have at least 51% to 100% African American ownership and are listed in alphabetical order. There are 21 African American owned banks with assets totaling approximately $4.7 billion or approximately 0.43 percent of African America’s $1.1 trillion in buying power.
Alternatives to VC Funding
Angel investors are high-net worth individuals who invest their own money in startups. They have the flexibility and freedom of picking and choosing which startups and founders to invest in, and they usually make decisions faster than institutional investors. It’s not unpopular for an Angel to write a check on the spot for a startup they feel passionate about. Either way, Girl Get That Money!
All of us generally start out bootstrapping. Yes. Sounds exactly as it sounds, funding your company out of your own pocket while you run it too. Bootstrapping isn’t cute, but it’s often the best answer, particularly in the very early stages of a company. Hell, we all do at first, so Girl Get That Money!
Collaborative or Strategic Partnerships
These are partnerships that are formed when a more established company aligns or partners with a startup company that either complements its products, services or strategy in some way. In exchange for this partnership, the smaller company or startup usually receives a combination of capital/funding, management support, and other resources. Many Women CEOs have expressed a large amount of success raising capital when align with strategic partners, rather than from traditional VC firms.
There are a couple of routes to take when considering crowdfunding, there’s reward based or equity-based campaigns.
Rewards-based crowdfunding usually promised a product in return for financial support. No equity in the company is given away, only a promise of the product. However, there is guarantee that the product will be delivered. This is also a non-dilutive source of money for startups.
Companies are able to raise money through crowdfunding in exchange for equity or shares in the company. Equity crowdfunding requires substantial reporting requirements, and the dozens (if not hundreds) of new shareholders can wreak havoc with your cap table, not to mention be a pain to manage. Before considering this route, be sure to consult with a securities attorney experienced in crowdfunding, to help you navigate your way through the process safely and successfully.
I don’t recommend getting a loan, if you’re not good at managing your own finances. However, debt is rarely a source of funding for startups. Traditional loans will always require revenue, collateral and a good credit rating that most startups don’t have. Hey, if this is your deal, Girl Get That Money!
Friends and family
Before considering outside funding from larger institutions, consider starting with your family and friends. Scary because of the fear of rejection or otherwise, but your friends and family know you, and they usually have faith in your abilities. Besides, they know where you live, lol…. But Girl, Get That Money!
Grants are an example of non-dilutive funding. Non-dilutive funding does not require a large chunk of your company, and you do not have to pay it back. It usually takes the form of grants from government agencies and foundations, such as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Grant-writing is extremely time-consuming. There is a ton of research that is required. If this is your route, get comfortable because it requires a lot of patience. But Girl, Get That Money!
Last but not least, and my favorite especially for new mom entrepreneurs; Have a Garage Sale! Yes. A garage sale! If you are a mom, you probably have old baby clothes, old washer and dryer, old baby furniture, towels, sheets, maternity clothes, shoes, parenting books, etc.…Guess what? You probably have family and friends who have old items they could pitch in too. Instead of asking them for cash to help you start your business, ask them for old items to put in your garage sale. Sounds crazy, right? Wrong, I earned $4,200 at my first garage sale! I sold coffee, cookies, muffins, clothes, appliances, old shoes, old purses, old furniture, and other things that I had gathered from people who agreed to support my efforts. I had the TV outside with the News on and all my items were organized and labeled with pricing. I earned enough to pay for my corporation documents, DBA, business and marketing plan, pitch deck, and supplies, etc.
The truth is, many of us are literally sitting on thousands of dollars because we can’t let go of things, or at least, we think we can’t let things go. When you look at it, things that have sentimental value could really turn into a blessing. For example, my sister had given me a gift that meant that world to me and I didn’t want to part from it at all. However, my mentor said, “you are blocking your blessings by holding on to things that could bless someone else.” I really didn’t understand at first, but when I realized that gift was just taking up dust and not serving me, I decided to sell it in my garage sell to someone who would love to use and benefit from it. It sold BIG time! I called my sister, who by the way really couldn’t afford to help me with cash, even though she really wanted to. So, when I told her that the painting, she gifted me had sold and that my intent was to use the money earned as her contribution to help me start my business, she was thrilled!
That said, talk to family and friends, ask them for items they no longer need or want. Believe me, most will be glad to get rid of it! Besides, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure; or so they say. The point, people are more willing to give you old items, than cash, especially in today’s times. Finally, be sure to advertise your garage sale on Craigslist, your homeowner’s association’s newsletter (if they allow garage sales in your community); advertise on social media and then setup a page on Facebook to sell items there too! Start your garage sale at 6AM and be sure to have coffee, muffins and donuts for sale.
Business Loans and Lines of Credit
It’s not realistic for a new entrepreneur to get a business loan or line of credit, unless they understand the benefits of using other people’s money to make money. The also should avoid loans and lines of credit, if their own credit is fair or poor. Finally, an entrepreneur should not take on a business loan or line of credit, unless he/she can handle the note themselves in the event the business goes under. Most business loans and lines of credit, require a personal guarantor. Which means, your business defaults, you pay cash! However, if you are an entrepreneur who has business experience and strong financial knowledge, great or good credit, and a nice savings account; then a business loan or line of credit is not a bad idea, especially if you don’t want to offer investors equity in your company.
One of my favorite companies to apply for a business loan or line of credit is Trustart Financial. I met the Founder, Adrian Olinski a few years ago when he was with another company. He eventually understood his path and potential and decided to start a more responsible company that did more than benefit themselves, he wanted to make a difference. Trustart offers business loans and lines of credit to Startups and small to mid-size companies. They require financials, tax returns, bank statements and check stubs, and they also pull your personal credit score. Typically, an applicant must have a 680 FICO score of higher to qualify for one of their loans or lines of credit. It takes about 24 hours to give an offer or denial. Click here to Get a Funding Assessment to see if you qualify for a loan today!
Lines of credit, when approved will be funded using a variety of business credit cards like American Express, Discover, etc. This could create a problem for some because now there is interest on a variety of cards, rather than on one loan. However, when used wisely, this does not create a problem for the disciplined entrepreneur or business owner. The upside is you pay for what you use. Most all, offer zero interest for 3 to 12 months depending on your credit score. If this is your case, consider paying off what you use before the deadline to avoid paying interest fees. Apply here.
Another company that I highly recommend, is Lilogy. This company offers commercial and residential real estate loans, construction loans, equipment leasing and business lines of credit to established companies in an array of industries, including alternative industries. However, they do not work with Startups. Companies that apply, should have 3 years of financials, tax returns; and must be in revenue. Needs cash for a short period of time (term). They lend a minimum of $50,000 up to $25,000,000. Apply here.
Khadijah Adams is not an attorney, broker or financial advisor and she does not give financial or legal advice of any kind. The information provided on this resource page is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or legal advice. Prior to seeking capital of any kind, it is recommended that you hire a business consultant and seek the advice of a licensed loan officer, financial broker, or an attorney.