Ask Generation X entrepreneurs how they found start-up capital and they'll say they simply walked into a bank and requested a loan. Yeah, right. A baby-faced CEO has about as much of a chance of landing a loan from a traditional bank as Bob Hope does of winning the X Games' synchronized skydiving competition.
Talk to a bunch of young entrepreneurs, and they'll all tell you the same thing: To banks and government institutions like the SBA, they're not gray and fat enough to be taken seriously.
That may sound bogus, but that's the way it is. Still, savvy young entrepreneurs are finding creative ways to beat the start-up cap trap. Some ask mom and dad to "send money now!" Others turn to college connections to collect the coin they need to launch their businesses. It all boils down to this: Finance 101 is a self-taught course. On the following pages, meet eight entrepreneurs who passed with flying colors. You'll probably find one whose methods work for you.
Christopher D. Lancette, a journalist in Atlanta, writes for a number of local and national publications.