For this week’s finance module, I completed the section on Finding Funding. This section introduced six different possibilities for funding a small business. For each example, basic information was given about each option along with the pros and cons. I was already aware of several resources for obtaining start-up money for new businesses including self-funding, loans from family and friends, bank funding, and government loans, all of these are pretty much self-explanatory. However, I was introduced to one innovative idea for funding which was crowdfunding. I have heard of crowdfunding for a means to raise money for individual’s various medical treatment or trips, but I never thought about applying it to small business start-ups. The information in the module was limited in this section so I did some additional research in this area. Apparently there are several different types of crowdfunding including reward based, equity, debt-based, litigation, and charity. Several of these options might work for instituting funding for a new business? I was also somewhat familiar with microfinancing, which seemed to me, to be one of the best routes for funding a small business, especially if you’re applying it to a student population.
The Finding Funding section also introduced new technology skills including advanced Google search and Delicious.com which is a social networking service. I was familiar with Google advanced search but I frequently forget to use it, so this served as a good reminder. Delicious.com was new to me but apparently it has been around for a quite a while. I might need to do some more exploring on this website which looks very interesting.
If I was going to integrate this information into the classroom, I would start by introducing the information about the different funding options. Using the new technology skills, I would have the students meet in groups to explore funding for a fictitious business along with completing a group discussion. I would also ask them to consider local resources for support. I think UGA has small business support information services. Clark Howard, out of Atlanta, also has some great information on his website http://www.clarkhoward.com/best-websites-to-get-small-business-loan.