Non-Traditional Financing

Angel Investors

An angel investor or angel is an affluent individual willing to invest in a company at its earlier stages in exchange for an ownership stake, often in the form of preferred stock or convertible debt. Whether you decide to seek an angel investment depends on your personal management style and the long-term plans for your company. Unlike a bank loan or other types of debt financing, equity capital gives someone else an ownership interest in your company.

Venture Capital

Venture Capitalists focus on companies developing significant innovations - be it a new piece of software, a life-saving cancer drug, or a new model for consumer sales. Unless the company is poised for significant growth, a VC won't invest. Making investments at the earliest stages of a company's development, often before a product or service is more than just an idea, involves significant entrepreneurial risk which severely limits capital sources for such companies. Yet, venture capitalists assume this risk alongside the company founders by providing capital in exchange for an equity stake in the company.


Crowdfunding describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the internet to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowdfunding has its origins in the concept of crowdsourcing, which is the broader concept of an individual reaching a goal by receiving and leveraging small contributions from many parties. Crowdfunding is the application of this concept to the collection of funds through small contributions from many parties in order to finance a particular project or venture.


Micro loans are small business loans typically under $50,000. Micro loans are generally used for start-up cash but are sometimes given to newly launched small businesses for working capital. Micro loans can be used for many purposes including the purchase of equipment, inventory, machinery, fixtures, furniture, supplies, and even to purchase another business. Each lender will have their own requirements for repayment of a micro loan. Interest rates and collateral requirements vary considerably between lenders but almost all require a personal guarantee by at least one of the business' owners.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI)

A certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is a specialized financial institution that works in market niches that are underserved by traditional financial institutions. CDFIs provide a unique range of financial products and services in economically distressed target markets, such as mortgage financing for low-income and first-time homebuyers and not-for-profit developers, flexible underwriting and risk capital for needed community facilities, and technical assistance, commercial loans and investments to small start-up or expanding businesses in low-income areas. CDFIs include regulated institutions such as community development banks and credit unions, and non-regulated institutions such as loan and venture capital funds.

Peer to Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending is the practice of lending money to unrelated individuals, or "peers", without going through a traditional financial intermediary such as a bank or other traditional financial institution. This lending takes place online on peer-to-peer lending companies' websites using various different lending platforms and credit checking tools.

Other Programs