UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
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Choosing the Right Financing Strategy Is Easy—If You Know the Rules

Meet our friends from SCORE. SCORE provides free and confidential business counseling tailored to the business owner's personal objectives. The Kansas City SCORE Chapter boasts more than 50 volunteers who provide guidance and counseling to entrepreneurs in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. 

Financing for Small Business

One of the biggest issues facing most small business startups is financing. Too little money will likely doom your dream, or at least make it difficult to fully serve your customers. The wrong approach may provide you with plenty of funds at the outset, but also obligate you in ways that will have huge consequences in the future.

Debt Financing

The two major categories of financing are debt and equity. Debt financing means borrowing money that must be repaid over a period of time, usually with interest. These loans are often secured by some or all of the assets of the company. In addition, lenders commonly require the borrower’s personal guarantee in case of default. This ensures that the borrower has a sufficient personal interest at stake in the business.

Traditionally, banks have been the major source of small business funding. However, they are often reluctant to offer long-term loans to small firms. To help fill the gap, SBA 7(a) program encourages banks to issue long-term loans up to $1 million for small businesses that are unable to find financing on reasonable terms through conventional lending channels.  (More details about the SBA guaranteed loan programs are available at

Equity Financing

The other category, equity financing (or equity capital), is money raised by a company in exchange for a share of ownership in the business. Equity often comes from investors such as friends, relatives, employees, customers, or industry colleagues. The most common source of equity funding comes from venture capitalists—institutional risk-takers comprised of wealthy individuals, government-assisted sources, or major financial institutions. Most specialize in one or a few closely related industries. (For more on the different types of funding and what stage your business is ready to pursue, visit Funding Stage Definitions.)

While equity financing usually eliminates the need to repay specific amounts at specific times, investors usually have an expectation of receiving some kind of return on their investment. They may also insist on having some input on decision-making, and be less flexible about repayment should the business falter.

Other Funding Options

Other funding or cost-sharing options include partnerships, joint ventures, alliances, co-branding arrangements and business incubators. Incubators rarely offer cash, but they provide crucial support in the form of free or reduced rent and business services.

More details about financing for both startups and existing small businesses may be found at the SBA’s website,

To learn more about financing a small business, contact SCORE “Mentors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 12,000 volunteers who provide free, confidential business mentoring and training workshops to small business owners. 

Or Sign Up for a Class

Our Resource Partners regularly host classes to help you get up to speed on marketing, business planning--and, apropos, financing. Check out  these upcoming classes to learn more about financing. 



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