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Other funding options

No-interest loans (yes, they exist!)

A new development in small business financing is the introduction of crowdfunded, no-interest loans. Kiva, the pioneering microlender, rolled out a program that offers direct no-interest loans in the U.S. called Kiva Zip based in San Francisco. Entrepreneurs create a fundraising campaign on the website and investors can choose to fund them. Other startups, such as Community Sourced Capital, have followed suit. 

Business plan competitions

For startups and micro-entrepreneurs, there is a wealth of programs and competitions that can help you vet your idea and secure seed funding. Business plan competitions are often hosted by public libraries, universities, corporations, incubators and other organizations and award cash to the winning business plan(s). Biz Plan Competitions provides a comprehensive listing entrepreneurship contests and business plan competitions.