AMGEN
BMS-center-logo
 

 

By Debbie Gregory.

In this series of articles, we will examine the financial options and program available to business owners to fund their business.

In the two previous articles, we have looked at self-funding and venture capital. Now, we will look at a fun option… crowdfunding!

Crowdfunding is where you get a lot of people to invest in your idea, rather than finding one person, venture capital firm or bank to come up with the funds you need. People who are interested in your idea or product usually buy in at various stages. Usually, the “early birds” who get in on the campaign at the very beginning get the best deals, and the closer you get to your goal, the higher the buy-in. Once you have received the funds, you can get going.

Most business owners use a platform such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Patreon.

Your first step will be to set a goal for how much money you’d like to raise and over what period of time. Friends, family, and strangers then pledge money as short term supporters who will receive something in return, a gift if you will, which is usually your product.

Crowdfunding is very low risk for the business owner. For the fee you pay to the platform company, you get to retain full control of your company, and you’re typically under no obligation to repay your crowdfunders.

Some of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns have raised millions of dollars, and include products such as the Pebble Time smartwatch (78,471 backers pledged $20,338,986), the Coolest Cooler (62,642 backers pledged $13,285,226) and the game Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 (19,264 backers pledged $12,393,139). Film and video projects included Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000 (48,270 backers pledged $5,764,229) and the Veronica Mars Movie project (91,585 backers pledged $5,702,153).

Because each crowdfunding platform is different, make sure you read the fine print and understand your full financial and legal obligations.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

Funding for Veteran Business Owners

No comments
Share this Article:
Share Article on Facebook Share Article on Linked In Share Article on Twitter


According to the most recent census data, there are 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. Veteran entrepreneurs contribute to the economy through their businesses and their willingness to hire veterans.
There are a number of funding resources available to veterans in order to get their business off the ground, or expand an existing business.
• The Office of Veterans Business Development, through the Small Business Administration (SBA) supports new and existing veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses. The program offers a variety of training and financial services. The SBA Veterans Advantage Guaranteed Loans program offers loans of $150,000 or less with no guaranty fee. Larger loans carry a low guarantee fee. SBA Express Loans have no upfront borrower fee for eligible veterans and military spouses on loans up to $35,000. Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital matches businesses with SBA-approved non-profit lenders. The 7(a) Loan Program is the SBA’s most common loan program, and includes financial help for businesses with special requirements.
• The Department of Veteran Affairs is a great starting point when looking for financing, and has created the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP), which can help you quickly identify financing resources for your business.
• The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan provide funds to eligible small businesses to meet necessary operating expenses that it could have met, but is unable to meet, because an owner/essential employee was “called-up” to active duty.
• The USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant, run by the Department of Agriculture, aims to bring traditionally underserved people into farming through training and technical and financial assistance.
• The VetFran(R) program is designed to help veterans start their own business. While these aren’t traditional business loans for veterans, the program offers financial incentive for veterans to launch a franchise.
In addition to lending resources, don’t discount the value of networking resources. Who better to share advice than those who have walked the path before you?
• American Corporate Partners links veteran entrepreneurs with successful businesspeople for training and mentorship.
• National Veteran-Owned Business Association presents you with a great networking opportunity and the chance to learn much more about running a business.
• SCORE Foundation Veteran Fast Launch Initiative offers advertising, marketing and business mentoring, all at no cost.

• Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families provides entrepreneurial training. Their Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans program is free for post-9/11 veterans.
• Veterans Business Resource Center provides business consulting and mentoring.
• Veterans Business Services can assist in obtaining capital for your business.

ibmpos_blurgb