It's not quite a desktop ATM, but a new capital search engine on the Internet may be the next best thing for entrepreneurs who need money for business start-ups or equipment.
America's Business Funding Directory (http://www.businessfinance.com) is free, fast and easy to use. Select a category (commercial loan, investment, etc.) and answer several questions about your capital needs. Your data is compared to the criteria of more than 15,000 sources, and you're instantly provided with a list of sources to contact.
"Listings include banks, insurance companies, venture capital firms and many other lenders and investors, all of which we check out before they're accepted," says Candace E. Outlaw, chief financial officer of the Irvine, California, firm.
Loans of as little as $1,000 are available in some cases, and many of the sources fund entrepreneurs around the world. "Even if a source is unable to satisfy your needs," Outlaw says, "they'll provide insight and guide you to an organization that can help."
Download a free, step-by-step guide to raising capital and for more information about starting a business, use the site's links to the Internet Resource Library and Small Business Development Centers.
Paul DeCeglie is a former staff reporter for Journal of Commerce and American Banker. He can be reached at MrWritePDC@aol.com