In this panel discussion, digital media experts will dive into how brands can position themselves for success with a diversified strategy.
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Join us as we hear from Corey Thomas, Chairman & CEO of Rapid7, and Andrew Farrington, an advisory board member City Awake.
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Join us to celebrate the history, culture, food, and local businesses of Nubian Square, the heart of Black culture in Boston.
3:45pm - 6:00pm
Tropical Foods - Roxbury
Designed for mid-level managers and supervisors, this new certificate program addresses workplace well-being through unique, innovative, and actionable methods.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Expand your DEI professional development with a virtual workshop focused specifically on LGBTQIA+ identities and inclusion.
Our Economic Inclusion Committee provides strategic support around research, policies, and programs that are focused on building equal opportunity.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For more than 25 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
Access to capital is often the backbone for business growth, more critical for businesses today as interest rates rise, the supply chain wobbles, and international events unbalance world politics. Charlie Zanazzi who heads up HarborOne’s Boston lending team, shares several tips and insights to help ease your journey to raising capital in your business.
Certain types of capital will be more appropriate depending on your industry or stage of business, and it’s ok to have multiple sources. So it’s useful to clarify the difference between debt capital and equity capital.
The most common form of raising capital is Debt Capital, or money you’ve borrowed, usually from financial institutions like banks and credit unions (or sometimes friends and colleagues). It could be short-term funding like an overdraft, a line of credit or a longer-term loan for buying new equipment, or commercial real estate. Loans are usually guaranteed by security (often your house or business assets), though there are many variations such as SBA guaranteed loans.
Often, it’s easier and less complicated to use debt capital especially at the start of a business. An existing business with a significant amount of fixed investment (for example, buildings and equipment) is best suited for early debt, as many banks will lend against hard collateral over longer periods of time (20 to 30 years). Early stage companies should keep fixed costs as low as possible to conserve cash flow.
Opposite to debt, equity capital is where you raise cash in exchange for selling part of your business, giving up some of the ‘equity’ or ownership. Selling part of your business could be to investors you know from your network via word of mouth, or from formal networks such as angel funds and venture capitalists.
Equity can be a lower risk strategy initially, but you’re selling a portion of your future potential. It’s often more viable if the company is assessed on an idea, intangible value, or expects high growth and high pay-off, all which attract equity providers.
Other increasingly popular ways to raise capital especially for micro businesses includes crowdfunding and peer to peer lending, where other business owners contribute cash to your business.
There are also corporate and business capital opportunities, where a customer, competitor or supplier either buys a stake in your business or provides finance to help you grow.
Government and State funding may also be available. Find your local Massachusetts Small Business Development Center here for help identifying what you may be eligible for, and review the Massachusetts State site for small business programs and grants.
Don’t forget your own professional network of accountant, financial adviser, or attorney who may have access to local networks.
Regardless of where you get capital from, do your homework on what the provider will require in advance. The more prepared you are the better. For example:
Don’t be too quick to accept the first offer of money for equity. Make sure you’ve completed your own due diligence on potential investors, so you can decide which will work best with you and your business.
Potentially you could find some of the cash internally, which reduces the amount of capital you need. For example, selling equipment you don’t use often (and leasing it when you do). Other tactics include:
You’ll be surprised at how much all these savings add up, generating more cash to reinvest in business growth.
Whichever provider you choose, check that they’re offering a wider perspective than just access to cash. If you can, write up a Request For Proposal (RFP) for them to complete, to be confident they know your business, have asked the right questions, and will provide a level of insight and expertise that you don’t have yourself. Money is usually easier to access than great advice.
If you’re talking to your banker, check their experience and how they partner with the wider bank or branch network to make your everyday banking easier. Ideally the bank provides a holistic approach to being in the community, such as providing education and specialty programs, serving the not-for-profit sector, SBA lending, and even micro loans for the very small business needing up to $5,000 to get up and running.
I’d suggest using a team-based approach to find a solution that fits your business, rather than rely on one or two people. Bring in your lawyer, accountant, financial adviser, and business colleagues to vet your ideas. From a bank point of view, make sure your banker listens and understands your goals and expectations to access the help and advice you need. Your banker should also tell the story of their bank—sell you on them. You need a bank that’s willing to develop a relationship, not just make transactions.
For more free business help and tools, visit HarborOne’s Small Business Hub, packed with articles, videos, templates, calculators, checklists, and case studies.
May 16, 20234:30pm – 8:00pmOmni Boston Hotel at the Seaport