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Raising Money for Global Expansion

Getting financing for your international venture isn't as simple as cashing a few traveler's checks.

This story appears in the October 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Steve Lamond launched International Turbine Systems Inc. in 1992, he seemed to have all the key ingredients for a successful venture. His father, Jim, had the necessary technical expertise, as well as extensive knowledge of the northern Africa region the company would be tapping for business. The Warehouse Point, Connecticut, firm also had an interested client, a gas and oil production company that needed help overhauling and repairing equipment used in its Algerian oil fields. Business was booming after a time, but financing for Lamond's global enterprise was in scarce supply.

"The early projects were financed by a minimal cash infusion from the principals, but that only supported us for about a year and a half," Lamond, 44, recalls. "It became clear that for us to continue to develop and support the projects coming our way, we needed to do something else. I began to explore financing options. As is typically the case for small businesses, unless you've got a track record and a series of completed projects with good financial data, no bank wants to talk to you, especially if [you're] dealing internationally. We struggled for the second year trying to find someone who would work with us."

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