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2024 guide to small business Funding, part 3

Updated 1/31/24

Header for Part 3 guide to funding small businesses

funding small business with alternative sources, investments + grants

This is the third and (as of now) final post with resources to help you find funding for your small business in New Mexico. This post includes:

banner for section on business credit as funding option


It is easier to get a business credit card than a bank loan. And, business credit cards come with additional benefits. These benefits might include rewards or cash back, loyalty points, travel protections. hotel discounts, airline miles, no annual fee, competitive APR, and more.

Visit sites like Forbes or Investopedia to see what current offers might be and how they are ranked. Decide which benefits would be the most useful for you and your business. And, prioritize what you value most among rewards, cash back, and building credit.


With this funding option, a bank gives you a line of credit (similar to a credit card.) You withdraw funds from that account as you need them. The bank only charges you interest on the money used and you pay it back on your own schedule (as long as you don't go over your limit.)

To get a business line of credit you need to show that you've put personal investments into your business, you aren't losing money, and you have industry experience. You also need a good credit score and a business plan.


I almost didn't list this one because the risk involved is high. A home equity line of credit has the flexibility of a credit card but with a lower interest rate - because your home is securing the loan. If you default on your payments, you could have your home foreclosed.

banner for section on roll over business start ups

There are three different ways you can fund your small business using your 401(k) retirement funds:

  1. You can cash out these funds.

  2. You can borrow against your 401(k).

  3. You can use a rollover for business startups.

Of those three options, ROBS is the only option that does not result in interest charges, taxes, or penalties. ROBS allows you to start a business or purchase a business with your retirement savings without paying early withdrawal fees or tax penalties. But, be forewarned: ROBS transactions are not quick or easy. It requires complicated and extensive paperwork. You can't do it on your own. Make sure to speak with a ROBS provider who has experience.

Here are a few national companies that specialize in Roll Over Business Startups.

Guidant Financial logo

Guidant Financial

Highly experienced and is said to have excellent customer service, and offers free audit support

Business Funding Trust logo

Business Funding Trust

Specializes in sole proprietors

FranFund logo


FranFund specializes in 401(k) funding bu also offers SBA loans, and several types of business loans. Another specialty is working with people opening a franchise.

Benetrends Financial logo

Benetrends Financial

Benerends has been around for over 40 years. They specialize in ROBS and also offer SBA loans and other funding options.

My Solo 401K logo

MySolo401K Financial

They have the lowest setup fees.

banner for section about peer to peer lending for small businesses

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) funding is like a mutual aid system of financial support where you get a loan from another individual or group. P2P is an approachable form of connecting businesses with investors, born from growing technology, mass collaboration, and social trends.

Just as with loan requests to a bank, you have a better chance at getting financial support if you have good credit. A big difference, though, is P2P platforms will allow you to use your story to convince funders to ignore some dodgy credit history and invest in your business. This is great since credit scores don't actually reflect how good a person is with money management and ignore things like debt from abusive relationships or medical bills.

The SBA issued a brief about P2P being a viable alternative for funding. If you want to learn more, this article at Investopedia has a lot of useful information about P2P lending.


Funding Circle

Lending Club

Lending Tree


Loans Under 36





banner for section on crowdfunding for small businesses

Through crowdfunding, you can fund a small business by getting smaller investments from a large number of people.

All crowdfunding platforms require a heavy investment of time and creative resources to develop a targeted marketing plan. Each crowdfunding platform is better suited for specific types of projects and each has vastly different restrictions and requirements.









Start Engine


banner for section on small business grants and scholarship awards

There are two ways to get funding that you do not have to pay back: grants and scholarships.


Grants for Women logo

This is a directory of grants for women. These are not all business-focused, but many of them are.

Business Owners Idea Cafe logo

Idea Cafe Small Biz Grant Center

This is a directory of grant opportunities and resources.

Nav has an easy-to-use business grant search function.

GrantWatch logo

New Mexico Grant Watch

GrantWatch is a massive database of foundation and federal grant opportunities for individuals, businesses, non-profits and municipalities. You can filter your search by location, funding category, type of funder, and more. BUT - it's a paid subscription service.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce - CO

They have a blog post with info and links to 61 grants and other small business funding opportunities.



There are a lot of grant opportunities for women, minorities, and veterans as well as for specific industries. And there are lots of government grants, usually through the economic development offices of small/local government agencies.

While you do not have to pay back funds received as a grant, it is not "free money." It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare a grant application, to go through the funding process, and to report back on how funds were used. Grant applications and reporting on grant funding takes a lot of time and effort and meticulous record-keeping.

This list of grants is just scratching the surface of what is out there. I will continue to add to the list.

Annuity Freedom Grants

Cartier Women's Initiative

For women entrepreneurs

City of Santa Fe, Arts & Culture Department

Microgrants for artists

Comcast Rise

Comcast Rise is a multi-year commitment to provide marketing, creative, media, and technology services to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color that own small businesses.

FedEx Small Business Grant

To be eligible, a small business must be for-profit, have a valid FedEx business shipping account number, currently ship with FedEx, and have fewer than 99 employees.

Native American Business Development Institute

Funds feasibility studies

National Association for the Self-Employed

NASE has growth grants for small businesses.

New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Labs

New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program

A joint project between the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Labs, which provides small businesses access to scientists and engineers to help solve technical problems. They have given nearly $60 million in grants through this project.

Regional Development Corporation logo

Regional Development Corporation

The Regional Development Corporation is a nonprofit that provides private investment opportunities and technical assistance to facilitate job growth in Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos, and the municipalities and Native American Pueblos therein. Grants listed below

  • Micro-Grant Fund is $500 - $3000 grants to help businesses grow and create jobs

  • RDC Team / Manufacturing Fund is a no-interest loan up to $20,000 for technology and manufacturing businesses

  • RDC Tribal Economic Diversity Fund gives grants from $1,000 to $8,000 to businesses owned by federally recognized tribes or businesses that have 51% or more ownership by an enrollee. Small window for applications begins in July.

USDA logo

U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA has a ridiculous amount of grant opportunities for small business farmers, including (but not limited to) rural development, new farmers, food distribution, urban agriculture, specialty crops, and more.

WomensNet Amber Grant logo

WomensNet Amber Grant

The Amber Grant gives $10,000 grants to women business owners and they help you find loans and other grant opportunities.


Scholarships are generally restricted to students. If you are currently a student looking to start your own business, there are tons of scholarships out there to support your entrepreneurship and future small business. Here are a few of those scholarships.

Banner for section about Equity Financing as funding for small business

With equity financing, the lender is given partial ownership of the company in exchange for the funding.


Mezzanine Financing is a cross between a loan and investment. It is a type of secured loan because you only have to give up partial ownership in the company if you default on your loan payments.


Venture capitalists are individuals or firms that can make significant investments. But, they only do so with companies they deem highly likely to succeed, have rapid growth potential, and which will offer them a big pay out.

This list of capital investors are either from New Mexico or will fund businesses in New Mexico. There are also several investor search sites.

Guide to Capital Investments

Small Business Administration - Find an Investor

Crunchbase - Investor Database


Arch Venture

Arrowhead Innovation Fund

Bluestone Venture Capital

Camino Real Capital Partners

Cottonwood Technology Fund

Epic Ventures

Flywheel Ventures

New Mexico Finance Authority Venture Capital Program

New Mexico Start Up Factory

New State Investment Council - Direct Equity Investments

NMA Ventures

Phoenix Venture Partners

Signal Peak Ventures

Tramway Venture Partners

Verge Fund

Western Association of Venture Capitalists


Angel Investors also pony up money for a stake in the company. Unlike venture capitalists, who invest huge money in businesses that are likely to give them an almost immediate return, Angel Investors recognize that profitability takes time for most of us.

If working with an Angel Investor looks like a path you want to take, be prepared for a long process and check out this Forbes article with 20 tips. If you do find an investor, here's a free template for a promissory note that will lay out the terms of the loan.

Some of these Angel Investor groups are located in New Mexico and others fund specific demographic groups of business owners.

New Mexico Angels

37 Angels

America's Seed Fund by NSF

Angel Capital Association

Angel Investment Network


Female Founders Fund


Golden Seeds

Gust Angel Network

Life Science Angels

Pipeline Angels

The Pink Ceiling

Women's Capital Connection

Women Founders Network

Banner for section about other posts in the series.

2004 Guide to Funding Small Businesses in New Mexico


I'm not promoting, recommending, or advocating for any of these institutions. The organizations, their services, and their websites are are shared so you have the tools and information you need to make the best financial decision for you and your business.

Please share this information with your friends, family, and colleagues. This list is only useful if the people that need it see it.

If you know about a funding opportunity that's not listed, please send me a message.

Happy fund-hunting!

DH Solutions logo


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