Finding Funding for Your Small Business

After planning your business, you will need to find a way to fund your business expenses. Here we explore a variety of sources and ideas for how to raise money.


Hello Alice Small Business Grants


SBA Loans

  • The SBA offers SBA-guaranteed loans, loans that connect small business owners with financing offered by partner lenders and community development organizations. They offer a service called Lender Match, which helps business owners find a lender.

Carolina Community Impact

Carolina Community Impact, Inc. (CCI) is a nonprofit organization that provides access to credit and asset-building techniques for individuals and small businesses. They are an approved SBA micro-lender and offer lots of assistance with applying for loans.

Bank Loans

You can also receive loans from a bank when starting your business. Even if you do not have a long line of credit built up, places like the Self-Help Credit Union can help you get the capital you need and teach you about good financial practices.

Institute Capital, Inc.

The Institute Capital is part of the National Institute for Economic Development. They are a community lender that provides debt and investment capital to affordable housing developers, community-based development organizations (CBDOs) and small businesses. 

If you believe you qualify for one of the loans below, you can visit The Institute's website to apply.


Years of operation

Loan amount range



<3 years


Up to 5 years

Small Business Loan

3+ years


Up to 10 years

Affordable housing Pre-development funding

Depends on project

Up to $500K

Up to 3 years

Affordable housing gap-financing, construction & perm

Depends on project

Up to $500K

Up to 10 years

Family and Friends

  •  Friends and family can sometimes be a good place to start when finding funding for your small business. According to this 2016 study, more than one-third of small business owners received financial gifts or loans from friends and family.

Venture Capital/ Equity

  • Sometimes, you can funding from investors by giving them a share in your company or a seat on the board. This money is different from a loan in that it is not usually expected to be paid back. Instead of getting their money back, investors get to keep the share of your company that you offered them. The SBA talks more in depth about venture capital if you are interested. 

Using the SBA’s website, you can also find an investor through a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) that is licensed by the SBA. When a private investor invests money in your business, the SBA will match these funds $2 to $1. Use the SBIC directory to find an investor to contact.


Military Retirement Benefits

If you are a veteran or active service member, you may be able to use funds from your Military Retirement Benefits to help start your business. MoneyGeek explains how to get the most out of these benefits.