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Financial Education

  • Submitted on 25 September 2015

    Created on September 25, 2015

    Types of crowdfundingThe U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy has released a new issue brief entitled Peer-to-Peer Lending: A Financing Alternative for Small Businesses. Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) is an alternative funding model in which individual investors provide small sums as personal loans to individuals via Internet platforms.

    In this brief, Research Economist Miriam Segal builds upon existing research and discusses the emerging funding option by explaining the investment model, comparing it to traditional small business financing options, and presenting implications regarding the future of peer-to-peer lending.

    While the brief outlines scholarly research on various sources of capital, this report also gives the research economist, the potential investor, and the small business owner, the most up-to-date information on different opportunities for accessing capital in today’s economy.

    » Download Issue Brief

  • Submitted on 25 September 2015

    Created on September 25, 2015

    Small Business Borrowers' Bill of RightsHave you heard about the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights?  Want to learn more about this effort to address the emergence of predatory practices in the small business lending market?  FIELD at the Aspen Institute and theResponsible Business Lending Coalition are hosting two webinars to share information about why the BBOR is needed, what it includes, and how organizations that support, promote and advocate for small businesses can join this effort.

    Register for Webinar at 2 PM EDT on October 15

  • Submitted on 24 September 2015

    Created on September 24, 2015

    EMV ChipsThis October, America will take a major step to mitigate fraud and improve our financial security by migrating away from outdated credit and debit cards that transmit sensitive customer data using magnetic stripes. In 2015, it should not surprise us that a system using essentially the same technology as cassette tapes is especially vulnerable. That is why major credit card companies, lenders, and businesses are now embracing new, more secure, authenticated payment technologies.

    Many consumers already have credit cards embedded with microchips in their wallets, and many more will be receiving these cards in the coming months. This technology – also known as EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) – is a safer form of payment for buyers and sellers alike, as the cards are nearly impossible to counterfeit.

  • Submitted on 04 August 2015

    Created on August 4, 2015

    This is a guest blog post by NerdWallet, which provides clarity for all of life's financial decisions and helps connect small business owners with resources to answer their funding, tax and legal questions. NerdWallet featured MBDA on a recent Google Hangout and is engaged in sharing resources with the MBDA network. A series of shared blogs will feature content provided by NerdWallet staff as part of MBDA’s continued support for Small Business Week 2015.

    Business Loan ApplicationThe old adage that “it takes money to make money” often rings painfully true for small businesses struggling to grow and prosper. From overhead to inventory, the expenses required to run a business often seem staggering. Thankfully, plenty of funding is out there for small businesses in every sector.

    Where can I find small business funding?

    When it comes to loan offerings, small businesses have a number of possible entry points:

  • Submitted on 13 July 2015

    Created on July 13, 2015

    Apple & OrangeAfter the recent financial crisis, traditional banks are more reluctant than ever to fund small businesses. Entrepreneurs need not be discouraged though, as a new trend has emerged in the world of finance: “alternative lending.” What exactly is alternative lending and is it right for your business? Here are some resources to help demystify the latest options in small business financing.

    “Alternative Lending” Defined

    You may walk through open doors of your local bank only to hit a brick wall. According to this Alternative Lending e-guide, traditional banks decline up to 80% of small business loan applications.

  • Submitted on 23 June 2015

    Created on June 23, 2015

    CrowdfundingThis is a guest blog post by Erin El Issa, a Content Writer for NerdWallet.  NerdWallet is focused on helping people lead better lives through financial education and empowerment. NerdWallet has featured MBDA on a recent Google Hangout and is engaged in sharing resources with the MBDA network.  A series of shared blogs will feature content provided by NerdWallet staff as part of MBDA’s continued support for Small Business Week 2015.

    In recent years, crowdfunding has become a popular way to fund small business endeavors for those who aren’t independently wealthy. But how does it work? Here’s what you need to know about crowdfunding and how to get started if you want to start or fund a project.

  • Submitted on 01 June 2015

    Created on June 1, 2015

    On May 6th, NerdWallet hosted a Google Hangout with U.S. Department of Commerce representatives from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).  On behalf of the agency, Carmen West and Nick Perkins, of MBDA’s Access to Capital team, spoke with Cindy Yang, a small business expert at NerdWallet about how MBDA helps minority-owned businesses to grow in size and capacity.

    San Francisco-based NerdWallet hosted the conversation as part of a mission to provide clarity on all of life’s financial decisions. To that end, NerdWallet provides various educational materials and tools for small businesses to use when tackling financial, legal and tax challenges.

  • Submitted on 28 May 2015

    Created on May 28, 2015

    Online MatchmakingCash flow is the lifeblood of all small businesses. Across the nation, thousands of small firms are searching for term loans, equipment financing, lines of credit, invoice financing, and real estate loans to help them build their business and create new jobs. Finding a business loan can be time consuming, and often times frustrating and disappointing.

    Changes in technology have made the process of finding and securing a small business loan less tedious and time consuming. Online matchmaking services, pairing lenders with prospective borrowers, comprise a multibillion dollar industry. Examples include the TV commercial in which a creditworthy home buyer goes online and is delighted to find banks competing to finance her home. Small business lending is the next frontier for these online “matchmaking” services. Using the power of the Internet, commercial lenders are finding creditworthy business borrowers, while entrepreneurs are finding loan officers who are ready to sit down and talk specifics.

  • Submitted on 29 April 2015

    Created on April 29, 2015

    National Small Business WeekIn honor of National Small Business Week 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency is teaming up with NerdWallet to host a Google Hangout on how minority-owned businesses can start and grow their companies.

    The online discussion will feature Carmen West and Nick Perkins, of MBDA’s Access to Capital team, and Cindy Yang, NerdWallet’s small business expert. During the discussion, the panelists will address how the MBDA helps minority-owned businesses expand, and Yang will discuss NerdWallet’s resources for small businesses just starting out.

    “MBDA’s Access to Capital team seeks to align with organizations that speak to America’s business owners and minority communities,” says Efrain Gonzalez, Associate Director, Office of Business Development. “MBDA is pleased to participate in this Google Hangout to share and discuss how our 44 business centers across the country provide capital resources that complement the services of NerdWallet and other organizations that provide resources to small businesses.”

    The Google Hangout will be broadcast live on NerdWallet’s Youtube channel. During the second half of the webinar, Perkins, West, and Yang will take questions from the audience through Twitter. Tweet questions using the hashtag #DreamSmallBiz to either @NerdWallet or @USMBDA.  

  • Submitted on 24 April 2015

    Created on April 24, 2015

    Credit CardsThere are various factors to consider when deciding to use credit for your business. The most crucial and overlooked component is can you afford to use it? Every business’s credit needs are different. Many small business owners have the misconception that if business credit is granted to them, they can afford to use it. Credit applications don’t ask what your business expenses are, whether or not your business equipment is outdated and needs to be replaced soon, or if you need to hire new employees, or how much is spent on advertising each month.

    So before you start applying for business credit or accept the first credit offer that comes in the mail, understand that there are three main points to consider before filling out an application. Let’s review these three key points below:

    Business Spending Patterns

    The first question to be addressed is how you intend to use your company’s credit. As a business do you plan to pay off the balance owing every month, or do you anticipate carrying a balance month to month? Do you plan to use your business credit for day to day purchases, or just for unforeseen expenses?

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