Your Ultimate Guide to Fundraising for Your Startup

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Funds for your startup are the fuel it needs to get off the ground and soar to success. But what if you don’t have a deep financial well to draw from? 

Hate to break it to you, but turning that brilliant idea into a thriving business takes more than just passion and hard work. It also takes cash. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics found that 20% of new businesses fail within the first two years and only 25% make it through to 15 years. One of the reasons they close up shop? Lack of funding.

Think about it: When you are writing your business plan, there are likely the costs of developing your product, scaling your operations, reaching more customers, or basically just building an e-commerce business that sells. (Thankfully, learning how to make your small business digital ready is free!) Having the right amount of capital can make all the difference. 

So, let’s dive into what goes into raising funds – and it’s not as scary as it sounds promise! We’ve broken it down into five manageable strategies that’ll have you feeling confident and ready to tackle the world of fundraising.


It’s basically starting your business with your own savings or the money it makes. You get to keep full control without owing anyone a slice of your pie. Plus, if you can’t pay your team right away, you can offer them a piece of the company instead of cold hard cash.


Free money alert! Yep, grants are funds you don’t have to pay back. Check out places like iFundWomen or Fearless Fund and more – they’re just waiting to support small businesses like yours. Selfmade also holds pitch competitions throughout the year and among the prizes is cash.


Sometimes, you gotta borrow a little to make a lot. Loans give you the cash you need, but you’ll pay ’em back with interest. Brands like Tory Burch have a program like this or you can shop around for the best rates and terms that suit your business needs.


Ever browsed Kickstarter? Crowdfunding lets you raise cash from lots of people, even if they’re not rich investors. It’s like a digital bake sale for your business idea!

💲Angel Investments & Venture Capital

Fancy some big bucks from investors? Angel investors and venture capitalists can make it rain dollar bills – but they’ll want a slice of your business in return – kind of like how they do it on Shark Tank. It’s a trade-off, but if you’ve got big dreams, it might be worth it.

Whichever path you choose, remember to jot down your plan. Putting it on paper can make it feel more real and help you stay on track. Need hands-on guidance for your entrepreneurial journey? Book a session with our mentors today! Not a member yet? Try Selfmade free for 7 days.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and make your startup dreams a reality!

April 23, 2024

Emily Oberman