10 Ways to Raise Funding in 2017 Without Venture Capital

01/12/2017 09:12 am ET Updated Dec 28, 2017

From crowdfunding to peer-to-peer networks -- there are plenty of ways you can raise money for your startup that don't come from an investor.

 

A. Nonprofit Lenders

2016-12-27-1482853931-4788390-ShawnPorat.jpgNowadays, there are lots of alternative financing options, including crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending. Do plenty of research and identify the method that's best for you. One option that many people overlook is nonprofit lenders, but this isn't for everyone. If you need a very large amount, you'll have to look elsewhere. But for smaller loans of $50,000 or less, it's worth looking into. - Shawn Porat, Scorely

A. Crowdfunding

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I can't stress enough how powerful and beneficial crowdfunding can be for your startup. If you're a good fit for it (hardware or consumer product company at an angel or seed round), don't hesitate to launch in Indiegogo or Kickstarter. We raised $600,000 on Indiegogo when most investors told us our idea would never succeed. You get the funding you need, validation for your idea and even some press. - Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Doorbell

A. Low-Interest Government Loans and Grants

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One of the least leveraged non-VC resources is low-interest government loans and grants. The key is to reach out to local governmental contacts, such as chambers of commerce, small business development centers, and community and economic development offices. These entities will want to see that you are going to create jobs, and you should communicate effectively that there is money. - Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com

A. Peer-to-Peer Networks

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There are marketplace lending options with good business term loans and lines of credit. As long as you have a good credit rating, you'll get lower rates and more advantageous payback options. You can also look to friends, family members and business associates for alternative sources of funding. - Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

A. Friends and Family

2016-12-27-1482853683-7166712-DouglasBaldasare.pngAn investment from friends and family can be a great source of funding if you are early on in the process. Ideally, this should be a win-win. They get to invest in a company they believe in and you get funding quicker, allowing you to focus on your business. - Douglas Baldasare, ChargeItSpot

A. Grants and Contracts

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If you have a technology-based business in the early stages, then consider some of the many grant opportunities that are out there. Programs like Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) can be a tremendous source of early-stage capital for high-risk, high-reward. Be informed about the amount of effort necessary to submit and manage an award. - Douglas Hutchings, Picasolar

A. Small Business Loans

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When looking for money, take the time to talk to your local small business center or Small Business Administration branch. They are entrepreneur-friendly and offer government loans that are often more lenient in their qualifying standards, which is helpful to a company looking to get off the ground. - David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

A. Merchant Cash Advances

2016-12-27-1482853596-9973599-BlairThomas.pngOne of the most under-utilized yet beneficial sources of funding in today's market is a merchant cash advance, or MCA. MCA's are not traditional loans and don't possess the stringent requirements of traditional bank loans. They're often funded much quicker, with fewer required documents, and payback is based on your revenue rather than static payments, making repayment flexible. - Blair Thomas, First American Merchant

A. Line of Credit

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A line of credit is a great source of funding because you pay interest only on what you use and it serves as security in case you need it. Every company should have access to this not just for emergency funding but as a great resource to grow without having to give away equity or control. - Anthony Davani, Kreoo

A. Customers

2016-12-27-1482853472-8674977-DiegoOrjuela.pngFind a product that has good margins and sell slowly at first. For each product you sell, buy another one with the profits. Do this year after year without taking money out of your business. In the end, you'll find that you didn't have to take external sources to fund your business, but instead, with your strict reinvestment of your limited resources, you got your customers to fund your business. - Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors, LLC

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.