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Archive for the ‘Angel Investing’ Category

   Is there really free money for my small business? This is the question many women entrepreneurs ask themselves when starting their businesses and when they need capital to expand or revamp their growing companies.

Are you a female entrepreneur in need of a small business or business grant? Are you in need of free money to begin a business but don’t know where to start? If these questions have crossed your mind of late don’t worry because there IS hope for your business.  It comes in the form of grants, scholarships and loans.  None of which is necessarily easy to obtain and yet, they are not impossible either. The biggest challenge is where to find them?  And how to go about getting them once you do?

These grants, loans and scholarships come in many forms. From private investors, to banks to corporations, to associations, to governments. For instance, if you live in the United States, the government designates several million dollars in government grant money to assist small and personal businesses to flourish. And the sad news is that literally millions of dollars are left unclaimed (unapplied for) each and every year due to a lack of knowledge of these government grant programs.

By now you are probably asking yourself, “How can I receive more information about small business grants?” Finding and identifying sources for grants, loans and scholarships requires time, effort, and research.

Getting grants is not easy, it takes work – sometimes hours of research and then there’s the application process, which is daunting to most small business owners. And I don’t care what the advertisements say when they tell that you can get “free money” just by writing a letter.  That is simply not true. Especially when it comes to grants.  There is a lot of competition for funding. You have to be able to write a good proposal that clearly states your objectives and includes all the criteria the grant fund requests including what you are going to do with the money.

The main reason you might want a grant is because you don’t have pay back the money you receive. Once you determine if you qualify for a specific grant, you must be prepared to work for it or hire a grant writing professional to assist you. 

If you want to learn to write a grant proposal yourself first check out your local Community Foundation or similar philanthropic training organization. These organizations are the first place I look to for workshops on grant writing. They are generally affordable and given by experts who have been doing the work for years.  

If the do-it-yourself route is the route for you, here are a few resources to help you in your grant and proposal writing: 
Sample Grant Proposal #1 courtesy of American Philanthropy  http://web.archive.org/web/20010216073923/http:/www.charitychannel.com/GuestShare/Wendy_Norris/  

Sample Grant Proposal #2  http://web.archive.org/web/20001218024300/http:/charitychannel.com/GuestShare/Tim_Puffer/ 

Sample Business Plans and Checklists can be found at eBizTechNet.com http://www.ebiztechnet.com/cgi-bin/links/links.pl?passurl=/Business/Small_Business/Resources/Business_Plans_and_Checklists/ (you must register to access the pages) 

Jump Up – The Place to Start a business – Want to calculate start-up costs, cash flow, and break-even? You will find calculators and links to templates and sample plans at: http://jumpup.intuit.com/tools/planning/tools_services

Check out this Interactive Business Planner a free service that uses the Internet to assist entrepreneurs in preparing a 3-year business plan for their new or existing business. It’s located here: http://www.canadabusiness.ca/ibp/home_en.cfm 

In addition to all the business grants and loans available to small business owners, there are several organizations, associations and corporations that provide scholarships to help you expand your mind and your business. As with grants, loans require a significant application process generally beginning with a business plan, budget and other important documentation. 

The challenge is where to start?  If you are a member of one of these groups or know of some in your area you can find out what scholarships they have available to women.  I have found that these types of local scholarships get very few applicants making your chances of getting one (provided you qualify) quite good.

In addition to the two listed above, be sure to check out the list of 100 Grants, Loans and Scholarships recently published in WE Magazine for Women blog at http://wemagazineforwomen.com/100-grants-loans-scholarships-for-women/  There is also a list of Angel Investors and even a Directory of where to find more Angels.

Just as there is more than one way to run a small business, there is more than one way to grow a small business to a million dollar enterprise.  Some small businesses will be self-funded, others will depend on financial institutions for their start-up capital. And still other small businesses will look to “angels,” those investors who would have a lot to gain by investing in your idea, product or service.

During the Grow a Million Dollar Business Summit, we will look at a variety of financing options to help you grow your small business into a successful enterprise that can help you live a certain lifestyle as well as position your business for possible sale down the road.  Sign up today! We have a 100% guarantee that if you follow the advice of our experts will lead you down the road to riches.

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What is an Angel Investor?

 

According to Wikipedia ~ “An angel investor or angel (known as a business angel or informal investor in Europe), is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. A small but increasing number of angel investors organize themselves into angel groups or angel networks to share research and pool their investment capital.”

 

Here are SIX Articles on the topic which will help you find Angel Investors and Get them Interested in Your Business Ideas:

 

How to Find an Angel Investor – 5 Tips for Finding an Angel Investor for Your Business By Susan Ward, About.com ~  Is there a small business that hasn’t needed more capital at some stage of development? And is there a small business owner who hasn’t thought of an angel investor as an ideal source of the capital he or she needs? But finding an angel investor isn’t like finding a clam on the beach; the search is more similar to finding the pearl. Here are some tips for finding an angel investor.” MORE

 

Angel Investing Cheat Sheet on the Women Entrepreneur blog at Simon ~ Essentially what are they really looking for? They want to know you have a good idea with some serious commercial value; they want to know you have the right team in place to run this company successfully; they want to know you have an effective plan to get your product out there in the market and they want to know that you have the potential to give them some great returns for the risk they would be undertaking, with your venture. MORE…

Securing Angel Investors by Tim Berry ~ Angel investors are a wide range of different investors, not as formally established as venture capitalist firms, and not as homogenous a group either. An angel investor might be a successful business person, a wealthy individual, a group of professionals such as doctors or dentists, or a local investment club, or somebody else completely different. Your angel might be a rich uncle. MORE…

10 Questions Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors Are Going To Ask by Ben Yoskovitz ~ “When raising money from venture capitalists or angels, you’ll want to meet as many as possible. They won’t all invest, but each time you pitch, you get better. Each time you pitch, you get asked different questions, get different opinions and ideas. It’s worth it to pitch as many people as you can, as often as you can. Wil Schroter says it perfectly; pitch everyone, all the time.” MORE …

Be sure to check out the Angel Investor Directory at Inc. Com “Finding the right angel investor could help you get your start-up off the ground. Angel-investor networks are a good place to start looking for funding. These national and local groups of angels meet — formally or informally — to discuss deals and learn about the best new business opportunities.” MORE…

And another Great list which includes 100 Grants, Loans  (including Angel Investors) and Scholarships can be found at WE Magazine for Women 

To learn more about Angel Investing and other Timely Topics on Growing Your Business, be sure to sign up for the “Grow a Million Dollar Business” Summit taking place September 18-20, 2008.

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