Authored by Malcolm Tatum in Loans, Small Business
Published on 12-12-2009
Many people today are living their dream of owning their own businesses. For people who are members of minority groups, there are sometimes obstacles present that make this dream seem impossible. The good news is that there are opportunities for minorities to find and secure small business loans, no matter where they live. Here are some suggestions on where to look for these loans, and how to make the best of the resources you have on hand.
A good place to begin your search is with your local community. Both small and large cities often have what is known as a business incubator program. Essentially, these incubators help start-up businesses secure office space and basic business services for reduced costs. What many people do not know is that local investors who are seeking new opportunities, look closely at new businesses accepted into these incubator programs. Assuming you have a solid idea for the business, and also have a workable business plan, one of these angel investors is likely to take an interest and invest money into your new company.
Another approach to finding small business loans for minorities is to check with state and federal programs that are aimed at assisting in the growth of minority businesses. In the United States, a good place to begin this search is with the Small Business Administration. Visit the SBA web site for information on sources of funding that may apply to you and your business, or take with a counselor at the local office of the SBA. You may be surprised to find out that there are several different programs that you can apply for.
Look into resources for loans that are related to the type of industry your company is part of. Many industries see financial investment in a new company as a way of expanding consumer awareness of the industry in general, as well as possibly allowing the industry to capture attention in more niche markets. Check with business associations connected with your industry and see if they have resources that help you connect with investors and others who could help your company grow.
Don’t discount the possibility of making connections with investors via participation in non-profit organizations. For example, you may find that attending local chamber of commerce events will provide you and your company with enough visibility to attract investors. At the same time, participation in a local or state level small business association may also bring you to the attention of someone who sees potential in what you are doing, and want to be a part of helping your business realize that potential. The network you create with these efforts can more than make up for the time and expense invested in them.
Above all, don’t allow yourself to become discouraged if the first couple of options don’t work out. New business owners look in many places for business loans and investors before they find the perfect match. Always remember that just because one approach did not work, there is no reason to think the next option will also fail. Hold on to your dream, continue to refine your business plan, and move forward with the pursuit of your dream. In time, that dream will become a reality.