In past weeks, a slew of online lenders have made announcements about new partnerships to build their businesses and venture capital commitments to grow operations. These companies, and others like them, are responding to significant demand for capital among small business owners. Recent initial public offerings in 2014 and those to come in 2015 demonstrate how quickly this marketplace is growing.
With a sizeable market at play and hopes pegged on future growth, investors in search of meaningful returns are placing their bets on these players that are investing in technology and leveraging big data to increase market share and reach the underserved, which now includes more entrepreneurs looking for capital on mobile devices, not at their local bank branches. Funding Circle and OnDeck Capital recently announced initiatives to make it easier for investors to buy loans through their investor marketplaces, and they’re a target audience very sensitive to end-of-year financial reports and future growth projections.
As much as the lending landscape is changing, we are holding steady and placing our bets on the enterprising business owners who are building a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. From the health care provider in Chicago to the food product manufacturer in New York City to the craft artisan in Denver, these entrepreneurs are applying for microloans to become their own boss, continue a tradition, or launch a new career path. And it’s no surprise that many are looking for capital online.
That’s where Accion’s new partnership with MetLife Foundation comes in. We want to make sure that entrepreneurs have the information and support they need to confidently choose the right type of capital, at the right size, at the right time to position their businesses for long-term success. It was with this vision that we launched our first national online lending platform in 2014.
As part of our partnership announced today, we’re strengthening Accion’s online home with a few core ideas in mind. Business owners should be able to review and compare clear details about the cost of capital, including annual percentage rates, fees, and payment terms. When we market our products and services, we do so committed to not just the transaction, but our interaction with borrowers who develop personal relationships with our lending officers invested in understanding and helping them reach their goals. We also are committed to working to scale the investments of our donors to help as many businesses grow and create jobs as possible to strengthen our local communities, our shared definition of success.
Learn more about how MetLife Foundation is helping us ensure that entrepreneurs have financing options online that are appropriately and transparently priced to help them achieve business health and growth: https://www.metlife.com/about/press-room/index.html?compID=159293