Ventures: Not Your Traditional Lender
Erin Williamson

December 19, 2018

Capital is an essential tool for starting and growing a business.

For many entrepreneurs, especially those with limited resources, finding capital for their business is challenging. Some entrepreneurs may not have a network of friends and family who can provide seed funding, while others may not be a good fit for a bank loan. This is where Ventures comes in. Our non-traditional approach to lending pairs capital products with business coaching to support the success of low-resourced entrepreneurs.

Ventures innovative approach to lending supports entrepreneurs by…

1) Looking beyond credit scores.

We don’t approve loans based on credit scores alone. Our loan team reflects on the complete financial picture of a borrower and seeks to understand the forces that impact each individual’s financial history. This flexibility allows us to support the capital needs of a business while helping entrepreneurs improve their financial management.

2) Putting relationships first.

To be eligible for a Ventures loan, all borrowers must first complete our Business Basics Course. Graduates of Business Basics Courses become part of the Ventures community and receive one-on-one business coaching, access to markets opportunities, and attend advanced trainings—before receiving a loan. Ventures’ deep connection with the entrepreneurs in our programs means we can tailor our capital to meet their needs.

3) Providing business coaching long after the loan is closed.

Each entrepreneur who works with Ventures has an industry-specific business coach. Ventures coaches offer technical assistance, industry insight, and mentorship to our entrepreneurs. This support helps borrowers overcome barriers to success and repay their business loans.

4) Asking hard questions and refining business plans.

Our loan team knows that entrepreneurs will face challenges during the life of their loan. We work closely with business owners during the loan application process to help potential borrowers identify pitfalls and plan for the unexpected.

5) Lowering the interest rate with each successive loan.

At Ventures, each time a borrower successfully pays off their business loan, their interest rate on subsequent loans drops by .25%!  By lowering interest rates to repeat borrowers, we offer capital that is affordable and supports business success.

Even if you’re not sure if you’re ready for a loan, reach out to me to learn more about our loans or how we can find other ways to grow your business.