Post written by Vanessa Wagner, Loudoun Economic Development
A survey of more than 1,000 entrepreneurs in 43 countries found that the elements of the ecosystem of greatest concern to entrepreneurs are funding and finance, human resources, and market opportunity. With funding and finance topping the list of concerns for small businesses, it’s important that Loudoun County work towards providing diverse finance opportunities for its entrepreneur community.
In a 2014 survey from the Kauffman Foundation on Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing companies in America, it was found that since 1996, more than 67 percent of fast-growing U.S. companies use their personal savings for their business, while only 6.5 percent used venture-backed funding to grow their organization. Although the evidence shows that venture funding is not a requirement for success and is predicted to become more difficult to access in the coming year, it can still remain an important stream for companies where there is an urgency to acquire market share, especially with emerging technologies.
There are more than 60 traditional lending sources in Loudoun County. These lenders contribute to access to capital in the form of debt financing. In 2013 Loudoun County outpaced other major counties in the Greater Washington region for small business commercial loans in the amount of $290 million. While Loudoun is demonstrating success in debt financing, there is significant opportunity to improve the access to, and awareness of, both equity financing and alternative sources.
To improve the visibility of growing organizations seeking to raise capital, Loudoun Economic Development and the Mason Enterprise Center-Loudoun are excited to partner with MilAdvisor. The MilAdvisor platform connects issuers to a network of accredited investors through their trusted financial advisor to increase distribution and raise capital. MilAdvisor was founded out of Leesburg-based Militello Capital. The team at Militello Capital was seeking a more robust solution to communicate information pertaining to their private equity investments, so they developed MilAdvisor.
At this time Loudoun Economic Development is meeting with organizations that may be a good fit for the platform in addition to inviting local accredited investors to create accounts. If you would like to learn more about this new opportunity or other advances for technology businesses in Loudoun join the next Loudoun Tech Coalition meeting. For more information on upcoming meetings: http://bit.ly/LCCCTech