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February 27, 2008

Small Business Loans for Minorities

By Brian Solomon, TMCnet Web Editor


According to the Kauffman Foundation analysis "Minorities and Venture Capital: A New Wave in American Business", minority enterprise venture capital investing "is very profitable", with an average net return per investment of over $1 million -- almost a 100% profit return.
The findings for the venture capital investments would most certainly be duplicated in straight small businesses loans as well. These, too, would prove very profitable.
All of which says that there is no reason to go to a lender or investor with hat in hand. You're not looking for a handout. You're looking for a business partner.
Minorities can--and do--get financing. Your business can be one of the success stories. You already know about business plans. Make yours the best business plan possible.
Follow these five steps:
1. Demonstrate your Professionalism -- Put your business plan online.
Minority business loans are granted to those who are perceived as being winners -- and at this time, that means having a great web site. And when you are looking for funding, it means having information available online.
2. Establish an Advisory Board
One of the strongest keys to an effective business plan for any minority is establishing a strong cross-culture Advisory Board. This Board will accomplish a number of things: It will complement the skills of the principals; it will demonstrate wide acceptance of the business concept; it will open doors that otherwise would be inaccessible; it will provide an immediate means for the principals to demonstrate leadership ability; it geometrically enhances the credibility of the business; it provides better odds for the venture capitalist or angel investor to "connect". For most business plans, such an Advisory Board is optional. For minority-owned businesses, taking the time and effort to create an effective Advisory Board is an almost essential step in the funding process.
3. Keep an eye on government funding sources.
Take a good look at the Small Business Administration website. If there isn't something there to assist you today, there will likely be something that will aid you next week or next year.
The other top governmental source for minorities is the Minority Business Development Agency. This is an agency of the Department of Commerce. Its sole purpose is to encourage the creation, growth and expansion of minority-owned businesses in the U.S. MBDA facilitates strategic partnerships, a major boon for mid size businesses that are growing.
4. Take every reasonable step to present a professional front.
Your "look" is important. Your logo, your stationery, your presentation all should command respect. In addition, it is wise to formalize your business in a corporate structure.
Brian Solomon is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Brian Solomon’s columnist page
Don't forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

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