Alternative Online Lenders Fill Funding Needs for Small Businesses

Delivering sustainable economic growth
Posted Sep 30, 2014 | Harvard Business School, Karen Mills

Banks are the principal source of outside capital for small businesses, but there have always been alternative loan vehicles available, including credit unions, community development financial institutions (CDFIs), merchant cash advances, equipment leasing and factoring products. In this Harvard Business School working paper, Karen Mills explains that historically, this market segment has been small compared to the $700 billion in small business bank credit assets. But since the onset of the financial crisis, and particularly during the economic recovery, there has been significant growth in innovative, online alternative funding for small businesses.



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