Non-Traditional Lending


Getting financed

In a perfect world, all business owners would have 800+ credit scores, access to an incredible amount of collateral, and a strong existing relationship with a bank.  These attributes would provide them with the start-up or expansion capital they need at low rates of interest.  That dream scenario just isn’t reality for a many entrepreneurs.  Aspiring business owners may have low credit scores and high ratio of debt to income.  Additionally, they may have limited or no credit history or lack of tangible assets to provide as collateral.  These scenarios are common barriers to accessing funds for business owners.  In this case, many entrepreneurs turn to alternative lending  for their business finance needs.


Microloans can be used for a variety of purposes that  help small businesses establish and expand. Commercial banks have historically not provided the smaller dollar loans because they don’t provide enough profit, but there is good news.  Microloans are there to help entrepreneurs bridge this gap. Microloans are smaller amount loans that are available to entrepreneurs and business owners. For example, you can use them when you need  under $50,000 to  start, rebuild, re-open, repair, enhance, or improve your small business.    These smaller dollar loans have proven very valuable to small business owners and help local communities build their economy. Please refer to the Resource Partner section to find microlenders in West Virginia.

Community Development Financial Institution

CDFIs are organizations that provide business lending services to historically under-served communities.  CDFIs support community residents starting businesses to foster economic opportunity and revitalize neighborhoods. They take on a variety of forms and organizational structures.  However, all of them are dedicated to lending financial assistance to business owners and entrepreneurs who may not qualify under traditional lending bank services.  Additionally, CDFIs typically offer services in regions of our state and to populations who may lack access to traditional banks in their community.    CDFIs are certified by the United State Department of the Treasury to receive and dispense certain types of funds. CDFIs can be banks, credit unions, loan funds, microloan funds, or venture capital providers.

For a list of microloan funders and CDFIs active in West Virginia, please go the Resource Navigator and look for organizations that specialize in access to capital and other financial resources and assistance!