Friday, June 16, 2006

Small Biz Owners "Prosper"

Awhile back I wrote about a cool money lending website called Prosper.com. Prosper matches up those seeking money with those that have it to lend and basically takes out scary middle men like the bank...the SBA...and all those other organizations that *sometimes* seem to make it harder, rather than easier to borrow money.

I think the idea is wonderful, particularly for those looking for smaller amounts of startup capital (you can borrow up to $25,000). So I was pretty happy to see this article on Startup Journal about a couple of small business owners who actually successfully used Prosper.com to fund their own ventures.

It seems like as more and more of us jump onto the entrepreneurial bandwagon, sites like prosper.com (and others we've yet to think of) will continue hitting the scene and building momentum.

There are resources out there for those that need to borrow cash and are not able to do so through traditional means. Check out the SBA's Micro Loan program or Innovative Bank's SOHO (small office/home office) loan. Another good resource for information is your local SCORE office (NOTE: Though SCORE is a great resource in general, I've also met with a counselor that told me if I thought I would be successful selling on the internet, I was "out of my mind." So, if you happen to find someone there who is not quite as helpful, ask for a new counselor!).

Finally, there are still some 0% credit cards out there (though they are not as plentiful these days as they used to be). I'm not one to encourage credit card debt, but this can be an insanely way of helping out a small biz owner in the early stages when you need a bit of cash. Just don't let your bills get out of control, and watch your trial period like a hawk! Well before your 0% expiration date comes around, transfer your balance to another 0% or low interest rate card.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

really cool site, thanks for sharing.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chris said...

I posted a 6-month review of Prosper.com and I cited this article. If you're interested please check it out!

Go to article on InvestorGeeks.com

Anonymous said...

Online entrepreneurial funding options keep expanding. I like it.

In addition to Prosper, there are a number of other new online Peer to Peer Lending entrants in the US. The interesting thing about all of these is that, as more of them come online, while they're all limited to around $25k/ea max per loan at the moment, there's nothing stopping any business owner who might reasonably need 2 or 3 times that amount, from hitting up each of the sites for the max - or, say, if you only need $30k, to break it up into $10k chunks per P2P platform, in order to secure lower interest rates on each (as lower loan amounts tend to receive lower interest rates on these sites)... lots of possibilities.