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According to statistics, many small businesses fail within the first five years of their incorporation. Among other things, funding remains the primary issue in these cases. Many a time, small business owners start with goals for their businesses and perceived ways to meet those goals. However, unforeseen circumstances arise which make these goals unattainable. Money problems arise, with several overhead costs to cater far, salaries to pay, and maintenance bills. At the end of the day, the business owner keeps spending his resources until he has nothing left to spend. This results in the shutting down or suspension of the business. 
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There is good news. Some financing options are available to SMEs, which the owners should take advantage of to keep their businesses running. In this article, I will be explaining some of these financing options. Let’s get right into it. 
  • Angel investment

This remains a go-to option for every small business owner. Angel investors are wealthy individuals that have an interest in helping small businesses grow. They are always willing to help small businesses start and scale. However, they do this, not in exchange for payback, but for equity. They will demand some shares from the business. This means that they become part and parcel of the business, and they get to benefit from whatever the business is making in the long haul.
  • Venture Capital

Venture Capitalists (VC) are usually financial firms whose aims are to finance startups and see to their growth. These VCs tend to invest in startups that have the potential to rise to unicorn status. So, they are very intentional about where and how they invest.
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To get funding from VCs, be sure that to a large extent, your business has high growth potential and turnover. Also, be sure that the goals of the VCs align with yours, so there are no conflicts in the process. There are several VC firms in Nigeria. They include; Investment One Vencap, Ventures Platform, Echo VC, etc. Just do your research and find the right one that suits your unique business.
  • Crowdfunding

The name says it all. Nairametrics defines crowdfunding as “a means by which a business raises money through contributions of small amounts by a large number of individuals, usually through crowdfunding networks online”. In crowdfunding, it is either the startup gives up some equity to the contributors or they give some sort of product away to them.
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Although crowdfunding is mostly practised to make donations to non-profit organizations that are after one cause or the other, it has become a worthy avenue to raise funds for promising small businesses.
  • Grants

Personally, this is my best bet when it comes to financing a small business. This is because there is no pressure to pay back (in the case of loans) or to give equity to some persons. Whatever is given to the business, stays in the business. Nevertheless, getting a grant requires applications, qualifications, and several considerations. It is competitive, and only the best ideas get to be funded. But if your business idea is top-notch, what are you waiting for? You can explore as many grant opportunities as possible. In Nigeria, some platforms are ever ready to fund the best businesses. Some of which are the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the YouWin Connect. You can certainly check out others, and see to the funding of your business. Featured Image Source: Premium Times Nigeria
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This article was first published on 23rd May 2022


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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