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More Than Money

Cash-poor friends may still have a lot to contribute.

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This story appears in the August 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Support from people you know can come in many forms other than financing. Here are a variety of alternatives for cash-poor friends and relatives who want to help:

  • Cosigning. Sometimes you have to rely on someone else's , net worth or disposable income to get a loan. In those cases, a willing friend or relative could cosign a bank loan, knowing if you , he or she is responsible to make good. It's risky for the cosigner and for your if the business fails, but it saves the friend from having to give you cash upfront.
  • Office equipment and furniture. You can often set up a rather spiffy office with a variety of hand-me-downs supplied by people who'd like to help you out. An uncle who owns a printing store might spring for your letterhead and . A computer programmer friend might be able to get your computer system at below cost.

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