Strategy BE2.1: Improve access to capital for all types of businesses.
One of the greatest barriers to business start-up and expansion is adequate and timely financing. This is particularly difficult for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and farmers. Capital comes in many forms, from 100% debt financing (such as credit cards or home equity loans) to equity from angel investors and venture capitalists. However, there are many opportunities to link businesses to capital sources. Local non-profits, traditional lenders (i.e., banks), and business incubators can link entrepreneurs and businesses to capital sources by hosting regular funding workshops.
In addition, crowdfunding is a relativity new strategy that many entrepreneurs are successfully using to fund their business start-ups. Crowdfunding is a type of fundraising that solicits small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically through the internet. Local agencies should identify individuals and organizations in the region that have successfully used crowdfunding to secure start-up capital. Those individuals and organizations could then host a discussion on the lessons learned from that experience to educate entrepreneurs on successful crowdfunding strategies.