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Lilliputian Loans

When it comes to financing, bigger isn't always better. Have you tried an SBA microloan on for size?

This story appears in the October 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You need a little dough to get your business off the ground, and traditional bankers won't give you the time of day. We've heard this story before, and the SBA has a program for you. Welcome to the wonderful world of microloans, where the maximum amount is $35,000 (a figure that wouldn't get you a second look from most major banks). Even a few past credit woes might not disqualify you from the SBA Micro-Loan Program.

The SBA isn't the actual lender, though-an SBA-approved subsidiary lends the funds to entrepreneurs in any stage of business. "[The SBA's] intermediary lenders [have] experience making and servicing small business loans and providing technical assistance to the borrowers," says the SBA's Michael Stamler. There are about 150 approved lenders nationwide serving all types of new business owners with the capital and guidance they so desperately need.

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