Discussion 7 Financing a Venture

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How do you successfully grow and sustain a business? What are your options for financing and how would you go about securing it? How do you manage the growth of your business? Have you considered an exit strategy? How do you ensure that your business “evolves” positively? These are all questions to consider about the business you want to start or already own.

Nearly all businesses, no matter the size, will require financing of some kind at some point in its lifespan. Some ventures may be solely backed by the entrepreneur, or financed by the entrepreneur’s friends or family. Others might require large influxes of money from angel investors or venture capitalists. Many entrepreneurs seek bank loans or open a line of credit to provide access to cash for the business. The type of financing a business owner seeks will depend greatly on the type of business and the amount of financing needed. Inc. Magazine compiled an article consisting of various articles on the subject, “How To Raise Start-Up Capital.” Go through the article, and follow the links to the articles that interest you. In your comments this week, you should engage in conversations about various types of financing options. In what circumstances would you most likely utilize each type of financing? What are the positive and negative aspects of the different types of financing?

Do you think that women entrepreneurs are more likely to seek one type of financing over another? What do you think the reasons for this might be? Women-owned firms backed by venture capitalists have traditionally been a low number. However, the numbers are rising. See the above graph for the current numbers, and read “Women Taking a Growing Share of Venture Capital” for an analysis. “The VC Word: Women And Venture Capital,” by Amanda Steinberg, shares a personal story of seeking venture capital.

A relatively new type of funding is crowdfunding, which eliminates the need for one large investor, and allows people to contribute small amounts of money in exchange for goods or services. Click here to read more about crowdfunding. Then go tokickstarter and check out some of the current projects. What do you think of crowdfunding? What do you think the benefits and pitfalls might be? Do you think it is a viable strategy for raising money? Do you think some types of projects have better success rates than other projects.

“Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.” -Glenda Cloud. Growing a business requires intentional thought and management of that growth. For one woman’s story, read, “A New Model for Medicine” by Janet Holloway. What do you think are important aspects to consider when growing a business? Do you agree that growth needs to be intentional? What pitfalls might the entrepreneur encounter when growing their business?

Every entrepreneur must ask themselves where they want the business to take them? Are they looking to stay in the business until they retire? Pass it on to children? Sell it to another company or entity? One must consider the goals of the business growth and the eventual exit strategy. Read “Exit Strategies for your Business” by Steven Robbins for further information on exit strategies. Several studies have been conducted on the differences between male and female entrepreneurs in regard to exit strategies. For information on some of the findings, read “Exit Strategy – Exiting the Business: Women Entrepreneurs Learn How to Do It Right” by Susan W. Sweetser.

Consider what you think the important aspects of growing your business would be. How do you think you would manage growth? What would your end-goals be for exiting the business? These are all topics of conversation. A PowerPoint presentation has been uploaded discusses the different resources available. Look at the slides and include the information laid out in your discussions.

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