Funding Options For Keeping Control of Your Business If you don't want to give up control of your business to outside investors, consider crowdfunding and bootstrapping.
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Entrepreneur Roberto Torres needed help. Black & Denim, his 5-year-old Tampa, Fla.-based company, was on the cusp of tremendous growth. Its American-made line of premium denim was already being sold in 50 boutiques nationwide (see "Homegrown," page 26) when some big clients came into the picture. Walt Disney World was calling with sizable orders, and Torres was negotiating deals with Bloomingdale's and Macy's. Black & Denim would need thousands of dollars to produce enough clothing to meet the increased demand.
Out in Nevada City, Calif., Jim Harte, co-founder and principal of Ol' Republic brewpub, was also on the expansion trail. But to move into the wholesale beer market he, too, needed an infusion of thousands of dollars.
The two scenarios share a common thread--neither entrepreneur wanted to give up control of his business to outside investors. So what financing option would work best: applying for a bank loan, tapping a private network of friends and family or something else? In the end, they followed very different paths.