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Small Business Funding: An introduction

A Black business woman pitching investors

Small Business Funding: An introduction

Securing funding is crucial for any small business, whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand. However, navigating the funding landscape can be complex, especially when you’re juggling the many other responsibilities of running a business. This guide aims to demystify the process and provide you with a clear understanding of the different types of funding options available to small businesses.

Traditional Bank Loans

Traditional bank loans are a common source of funding for small businesses. These loans are typically used for large, one-time expenses or ongoing operational costs.


  • Banks often offer lower interest rates compared to other lenders.
  • They provide larger loan amounts and longer repayment terms.


  • Banks have stringent qualification criteria, including strong credit history and collateral.
  • The application process can be lengthy and requires detailed business and financial documentation.

Alternative Lenders

Alternative lenders, such as online lenders, provide a more flexible alternative to traditional bank loans. They offer a variety of loan products, including short-term loans, equipment financing, and business lines of credit.


  • They have less stringent qualification criteria and faster approval times.
  • They offer flexible repayment terms and loan amounts.


  • Interest rates can be higher than traditional bank loans.
  • Some alternative lenders charge high origination fees or prepayment penalties.


Crowdfunding involves raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. This can be a viable option for businesses with innovative products or services that can generate excitement among the public.


  • It’s a great way to validate your business idea and build a customer base.
  • You don’t have to repay the funds or give up equity in your business.


  • Not all crowdfunding campaigns are successful, and it requires a significant amount of time and effort to promote your campaign.
  • If you don’t reach your funding goal, you may not receive any funds (depending on the platform’s rules).

Personal Investments

Personal investments can come from your savings, credit cards, or personal loans. You can also seek investments from friends and family.


  • It’s a quick way to secure funding.
  • You maintain full control over your business.


  • You risk your personal assets.
  • It can strain personal relationships if the business fails.

Overcoming Funding Challenges

Securing funding can be challenging, especially for small businesses with poor credit history or limited collateral. However, there are ways to overcome these obstacles:

  • Improve your credit score: Pay your bills on time, reduce your debt, and regularly check your credit report for errors.
  • Prepare a solid business plan: A well-crafted business plan can convince lenders of the viability of your business.
  • Consider a co-signer or collateral: If you have poor credit, a co-signer with good credit can increase your chances of getting a loan. Alternatively, offering collateral can provide lenders with the assurance they need.

Useful Resources

For more information on small business funding, check out these resources:

Remember, securing funding is a crucial step in your business journey, but it’s not the only one. Keep exploring, learning, and growing, and you’ll be well on your way to building a successful business.

You can find more complete resources to fund your business with a free membership to Good Soil!


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