Becoming savvier business leaders
I better understand . .
There are very few big businesses that are self-funded. One of the key elements in taking a company to the next level is knowing the kind of capital you need to support that growth.Jeri Harman, Founder and Managing Partner, Avante Mezzanine Partners, and Entrepreneurial Winning Women judge
There are many different ways to fund growth in a small business: using the revenues the company is currently generating, appealing to friends and family, or tapping personal lines of credit.
But at a certain stage, these sources of cash are usually no longer adequate or appropriate.
"There are very few big businesses that are self-funded," says Entrepreneurial Winning Women judge Jeri Harman, a founder and managing partner of Avante Mezzanine Partners, with almost 30 years of experience as an investor. "Whether you want to expand your employee base, buy a new facility or develop a new product, one of the key elements in taking a company to the next level is knowing the kind of capital you need to support that growth."
Harman advises the Entrepreneurial Winning Women not to be short-sighted when it comes to outside investment, even if it means giving up some equity in exchange for exponential growth: "It's better to have a smaller piece of a bigger pie than no pie at all."
The Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program is designed to educate women entrepreneurs about potential sources of funding. At the program's orientation and annual meetings, we bring in bankers, venture capitalists and private equity investors, as well as its own professionals, to talk about the benefits and drawbacks of various ways of financing growth.
The program helps its participants ready their presentations to potential investors, coaching them on "elevator pitches" about their business, before making the essential introductions.
Talia Mashiach, whose company, Eved, last year launched the world's first global online marketplace for meetings and events, is in the process of securing venture capital funding for her expanding business.
She credits Entrepreneurial Winning Women for helping her prepare the groundwork: "Because of the introductions I received through Ernst & Young, it was easier for me to start building relationships with investors. When we were ready this year, we were able to get the meetings we wanted."
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