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Funding Your Company – An Entrepreneur’s (New) Guide

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Editor Mutiyat Ade-Salu shares 2 ways to support your start-up in the new year.   Happy Holidays! While most people are thinking of what gifts to give or receive, entrepreneurs are thinking about how

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Editor Mutiyat Ade-Salu shares 2 ways to support your start-up in the new year.

 

Happy Holidays! While most people are thinking of what gifts to give or receive, entrepreneurs are thinking about how to raise money for their next venture in the new year. They say money doesn’t grow on trees, so I’m here to tell you where it does grow: online. Most people are aware of crowdfunding and how powerful it can be in raising thousands of dollars when a campaign is promoted to the right network of people. The three sites used most often are Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe. There’s also angel investing which requires an entrepreneur to do some face-to-face networking with wealthy and influential people through professionals they know. (And there are angel groups online, too.) But have most entrepreneurs taken advantage of online lending sites?

 

One such site is Entrepreneur Lending by CAN Capital and Entrepreneur magazine. Their site states that they’re “dedicated to helping small businesses succeed and grow”. I took a look through their site and here’s the gist:

  • Applying takes less than 10 minutes with no need for collateral. After completion, a representative contacts you.
  • If your credit is fair to excellent, you might get a term loan for 3-36 months for up to $150,000
  • If your credit is good to excellent, you might get an installment loan for 24-48 months beginning at $50,000.

 

Feel like you may need help sorting through other online lending alternatives ? You may need to go to an expert like Jumpstart Inc.

 

In my opinion, lending makes sense when you have a business in an industry that is traditionally lucrative. This is akin to borrowing money for a college degree – do it for a career that gives a high salary year after year. Entrepreneur Lending is quick, easy, and an option. The only drawback is, once you apply, it leaves a permanent mark on your credit report. Another option without that drawback is using eMoneyPool.

 

I started using eMoneyPool  2 years ago and it has helped me fund small to mid-cost projects in advance for my company Vineyard Entertainment. It functions like an online version of a ‘susu’:  a circle of people who make payments monthly or bi-weekly and take turns collecting the entire pot of money. With eMoneyPool, each individual selects the date they want to take the entire pot. This date should typically be close to the date you need to make a large payment. It caught my attention after I learned that the word ‘susu’ actually comes from the Yoruba word ‘esusu’,  meaning “a club for the purpose of money”. (Susus now also exist in other parts of the world, including Caribbean countries like Trinidad. Read more about the Yoruba origins of ‘susus’ from E.A. Ajisafe Moore’s book entitled The Laws and Customs of Yoruba People {University of California archives} or the online journal article by William R. Bascom here. )

 

When I first joined, I was contacted directly by the then-new company’s founder Mr. Francisco Cervera. Through an e-mail exchange, I told him I was hesitant about the service fee, but then I looked up the FAQ section and was relieved to know that the company covers groups with missed payments. (That seems to turn the service fee into insurance.) Mr. Cervera then sent me a set of questions to find out more about my initial hesitations to joining. My answers were:

 

1)  I was concerned about my ability to trust an online community of savers as opposed to a face-to-face- group of savers. Typical online advice about ‘susus’ suggested that savers join a group of people they know and trust. With eMoneyPool, I was considering a group of people I’ve never met in my life – unless of course I started a pool of my own and invited my own contacts.

 

2) I had to be careful about which pool I joined. So I basically told myself, “Don’t join a group with anyone who has less than a 6.0 rating, especially if they started not too long ago.”

 

He also asked me how my concerns could have been alleviated right away. I suggested the company post reviews of past users and a success rate of past money pools. As a result of our conversation, eMoneyPool has built an entire blog giving potential users both video and written testimonials by current savers!

Since 2013, the site has helped many people (including myself) pay for big goals in good timing. Recently, it announced the added perk of reporting your payment history on the site to the credit bureaus. (eMoneyPool does not pull your credit score for you to join.) Yay for instant credit score boosts!

If you would like to try eMoneyPool, feel free to use the code – Muti9W2 – to get $15 off of pool fees. And of course, when you recommend friends after joining, YOU get credits towards reduced pool fees, too!  (You’re welcome and Merry Christmas 😉

 

Let me know if you decided to go with Entrepreneur Lending or eMoneyPool and what your experience was like.  I’ll be waiting for your comments/testimonials at contactmutiyat@gmail.com.

 

Disclaimer: Applause Africa online is neither an official sponsor nor endorser of the companies mentioned in this article. This information, like all of our online content,  is provided as a free resource for consideration to all our readers.

Mutiyat Ade-Salu

Mutiyat Ade-Salu is the contributing editor for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She is also an actress, vocalist, writer, and budding entrepreneur. The playwright of Sunny Came Home and the creator of #FirstGenIAm, Miutiyat was named 2016’s Miss Black New York Coed. Follow her on Twitter @tiaadetweets.

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2 COMMENTS
  • Emy March 17, 2017

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