Written by Bill Kopp
There are multiple funding options that Western North Carolina entrepreneurs and startups can avail themselves of, from crowdfunding and small business lenders to traditional banking institutions and the angel/venture capitalist sector—each resource carrying its own advantages and disadvantages. All of them agree, however, that doing one’s homework and being prepared to learn are paramount.
Nineteenth century poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited with the aphorism, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” Emerson, however, didn’t consider the start-up and other business costs associated with getting a mousetrap business off the ground. And he never had to seek out large-scale financing; by age 35 he had inherited funds equivalent to more than $620,000 in today’s dollars.
Today’s entrepreneur understands that while a good idea is a necessary ingredient, it’s only the barest of a beginning for a successful venture. Many potentially successful business ventures never get out of the starting gate; without capital, ideas can often amount to nothing. If conditions—and there are many—are right, funds can be available to help bring a new venture into existence, or to nurture a fledgling one. But each funding source carries with it a host of characteristics and variables; some funding types may make perfect sense for one entrepreneur while being a poor fit for another. So, it’s important to become familiar with and understand the various categories of funding sources; only then can a business person seeking capital make an informed decision which to pursue.
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