Most people dream about owning their own business, but finding the cash to start that business is often one of the main reasons people don’t pursue their dream. Although you can always apply for a Small Business Association loan or get a loan from a bank, it often requires a great deal of paperwork and assets that most startups don’t have.
Instead of letting this get you down or force you to give up on your dream, it’s important that you look elsewhere. There are plenty of other organizations that are out there to help entrepreneurs get on their feet by providing them with loans, and some of them are outside the United States.
If you are looking to generate some seed money, you may want to consider looking at investment programs in other countries. Some may provide you with the funds no matter where you do business while others may require you to start (and sometimes keep) the business in that country. If you are interested, here are five southern companies to look into.
1. Seedstars World
If you want to win some major seed money and recognition, enter the Seedstars World competition, which holds multiple contests all over the world throughout each year. Although a Swiss-based company created the contest, the contest can be found in most major countries. The winner of the contest receives an equity investment, but even if you’re not a winner, you will still walk away with media coverage and the ability to network with possible investors. If you feel as if your company can win, this is definitely something to look into.
2. Alta Ventures Mexico
If you are a small entrepreneur, you may be able to get some seed money from Alta Ventures Mexico. This organization provides seed money and other benefits to small startup companies willing to start their businesses in Mexico. Alta Ventures Mexico tends to focus on providing help to companies in the mobile and technology industries, and they are also most interested in helping companies that could generate successful businesses within two to three years.
3. Warburg Pincus-Port Louis-Mauritius
Located on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, Warburg Pincus-Port Louis-Mauritius is a venture capitalist firm that regularly provides seed money to start-up businesses. Their investments are typically less than $2 million, and they tend to stick with businesses in the industries of consumer products/services, financial services, healthcare, industrial/energy, media and entertainment, technology and telecommunications.
4. 500 Mexico City
500 Mexico City is the leading seed money investor in Mexico City and is constantly looking for early stage startups. If you are selected by 500 Mexico City, you will be rewarded with office space, information and connections, and money. They will take a small percentage of your company in order to provide you with their benefits. 500 Mexico City is most interested in attaining the best talent with the most promising company, so it’s something to look into if you have high hopes and are in the very early stages of your business.
5. Start-Up Chile
The Chilean government is doing its best to generate more business in the country, so they started the Start-Up Chile program to do just that. The program is dedicated to providing funds and other necessities to entrepreneurs to begin their start-up companies in Chile, and then turn it into a global company. When the program launched in 2010, Start-Up Chile provided 22 startups from 14 different countries with $40,000 (US), a one-year Chile visa, and access to social and capital networks. In 2011, the program had 300 active participants, and the goal for 2014 is to have 1,000. Some companies that have used the Start-Up Chile program include Review Trackers and TOHL.
About the Author:
Meyling Lau is a partner at SEOMap.com and has lead enterprise scale SEO programs. Formerly, Mey led a variety of grassroots marketing projects for Hotels.com.