Five Fresh Ideas for Financing 2011

New avenues for funding are precious for entrepreneurs in every vein. If your hustle can use an infusion of cash or ideas on how to tap into fresh investors, read on! Your start-up will love you for it!

1.  Crowdfunding

This concept involves gathering a large donation pool for your start-up through small donations from individuals. Check out Kickstarter, who popularized the idea for artist projects. Deciding how to thank individual donors–through products, special access or thank-you’s–is a key to making this approach work.

2.  Microlending

Many entrepreneurs require start-up funding assistance, but nowhere near the $50,000 threshold expected at the average bank.  Not-for-profit Accion starts micro-loans at $500, with most averaging just over $5,000. Search out more microlending programs at the Association for Enterprise Opportunity.

3.  Credit Unions

Terms are usually better than at your traditional bank–consider becoming a member in order to borrow, especially if you are still improving a weak personal credit score.

4.  Bootstrapping

This is hustling in its most basic form–using your personal savings, leaning on friends and family or negotiating star-up supplies from vendors willing to front for delayed payment. While passing on the loan may be an enormous weight off your fledgling business, be sure to test your start-up product or service for success before investing too heavily in it.

5.  The Slow Money Movement

The goal of this innovative idea is “a million Americans investing 1% of their assets in local food systems within a decade.” Slow money advocates profess helping local entrepreneurs who are committed to local food use and sustainable agriculture by funding their start-ups on a deal by deal basis.

Check out the full story from Entrepreneur.

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