As the WSJ has reported in this piece (Keeping capital close to home The Wall Street Journal (8/6)), there are good reasons to look for funding in friendlier terrain:
1. Banks aren’t lending. Even with SBA guarantees.
2. VCs and Angels often want too great a return and too much control. Entrepreneurs may want to develop their business more fully to be in a better bargaining position for when they go to these sources.
3. Friends and family are more likely to be in the corner of “their” entrepreneur.
Using friends and family money creates perhaps even more of a moral imperative to plan and manage funds responsibly. Whether friendly investors are demanding or not, the entrepreneurs should be fully prepared to succeed through sound planning.
Time and again, small loans or investments have created seemingly disproportionate numbers of jobs. See this article about the impact of SBA “Express Loans” made through Sams’ Club: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/business/05loan.html in which entrepreneur Michael Golata secures $10,000 and is able to hire three people.
In 2009 there were approximately 7.8 million millionaires, and 1 million “ultra high net worth individuals” with assets of more than $5 million in the U.S. Certainly it is time for these people to stop sitting on their hands and seek out the investment opportunities in their communities and in their fields of interest to benefit themselves and the economy.
We need to usher in an era of activist investors concerned with the bottom line, yes, but also with the well-being of their communities and the growth and health of the American economy. Startups Across America is a free state-by-state interactive map of potential investments for friends and family –and other- investors. Visit at http://startupsacrossamerica.com
Funding Roadmap is the cloud-based business planning tool that takes advantage of the connectivity, collaboration and networking abilities afforded by current technology. Look at and Subscribe to this groundbreaking platform at http://fundingroadmap.com/
When the going gets as weird as it is now, entrepreneurs and investors need to find each other and get going. Together.