A $15 million regional fund focused on providing early-stage risk capital for entrepreneurs in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Access Ventures envisions a robust and thriving regional economy where entrepreneurs see Louisville and Southern Indiana as a place they can find the appropriate capital necessary to start and grow businesses. In order to do that we need to address some of the critical issues that oppose the growth of regional economies.
Every business needs capital to start, grow, and succeed. The average entrepreneur needs a minimum of $25,000 to start and 43% needed additional funding to grow their business. While ultimate success depends upon value proposition, 82% of failed startups site cash flow issues as a condition for closure. The root cause of the problem is systemic and institutional barriers to traditional financing which make capital elusive for most entrepreneurs.
More than 80% of startup capital comes from entrepreneurs and their network of relationships, which acts as a systemic barrier for low-to-medium income households experiencing severe credit constraint and historic wealth inequality. Women and minority entrepreneurs face additional challenges such as discriminatory bias from capital providers.
Entrepreneurs from all backgrounds face institutional barriers. Traditional lending is unavailable to most businesses due to risk-averse underwriting standards and emphasis on historic profitability. Traditional equity investment is the least accessible form of financing as less than 1% of new businesses receive it. This type of investment is narrowly focused on high-growth ideas with abundant opportunities for the investor to receive a financial return. We see the value of supporting entrepreneurs but we also see the importance of completely changing the system itself by creating new funding strategies that by their very design and purpose, close the gap for many of these amazing entrepreneurs.
We know entrepreneurs from many diverse backgrounds face weighty barriers. These barriers impose a high cost to the U.S. economy, in terms of job creation and innovation.
When an individual has an idea for a new business, they turn to their savings, credit cards, and close family/friends to help turn the idea into reality. Unfortunately, the average black household has significantly less accumulated wealth than the average white household. This stifles the business creation. Render Capital provides small grants to entrepreneurs facing this challenge.
Equity investment is best suited for high risk, high return opportunities most commonly characterized by venture capital. There are stages of business progression and Render Capital supports both idea stage companies through its Competition and expansion-stage businesses through a traditional investment process.
The ways to finance a business aren’t as binary as they may seem. There are many innovative ways to fund a business, such as revenue-based financing and crowdfunding. Render Capital invests through alternative platforms to ensure this form of capital is available to all entrepreneurs in our region.
Many new businesses face barriers to the capital they need for their initial growth. These barriers typically revolve around the lack of collateral and earnings history necessary to obtain a bank loan. Underwriting for Render Capital’s Growth Loan recognizes these restricting factors. The process includes a review of entrepreneur character, the business model, a minimum of 1 year of business history, and a community loan committee to approve loan requests.
Most businesses are best suited for debt capital, typically provided through a local financial institution. Render Capital helps businesses successfully navigate the underwriting process of these local institutions by offering a loan guarantee.