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Fast Cash: 12 Quick Ways to Raise Some Dough

Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber

Sometimes your business needs just a little bit more cash to make it through. You don't have the time -- or want to spend the effort -- to raise a huge round of funding. So what do you do when you only want a small amount of capital?

To find out, I asked 12 founders from YEC their best nontraditional methods and resources for raising just a little bit of cash. Here's what they suggested:

1. Microfinance

A lot of people jump into Kickstarter a little too quickly -- I believe this should only be kept in your back pocket as an emergency plan. I prefer microfunding: getting a loan between $5,000 and $50,000. You have to have been in business for longer than two years with a credit score of at least 550, so there are limitations. But in my opinion, this is still the best. – Rob Fulton, Exponential Black

2. Charge Cards

Charge cards are different than credit cards. There is no pre-set spending limit, giving entrepreneurs the freedom to spend more when business needs arise. Unlike credit cards, charge card balances have to be paid back in a shorter period of time (typically 60 days or less), but they are a great tool for expanding your short-term cash flow. ZinePak's favorite charge card is the Plum from AMEX. – Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

3. An Educational Fundraising Event

Host a class to share your experiences. This will educate others in your network, and turning it into a fundraising event will provide an extra boost of funding for your company. – Kevin Xu, Mebo International

4. Crowdfunding

We set out to raise just $100,000 on Indiegogo and ended up with $350,000 ten weeks later. Crowdfunding has changed the landscape of early-stage funding opportunities. You can also use it when you have an established business to test out a new product or service. – Jessica Richman, UBiome

5. Friends or Family

If you tell your friends and family about your business idea, you might be surprised with who wants to invest. Many companies actually find their first round of funding from these types of sources. However, make sure you set clear expectations from the beginning because if it goes south, it can affect your relationship. Be open, honest and respect their money -- don't squander it. – Andy KaruzaGossip App

6. School Contests and Alumni Grants

A lot of colleges and universities host business competitions with cash prizes of more than $10,000 as well as the exposure needed to jumpstart a business. Many of those competitions are open to young entrepreneurs within the community, not just the specific school. Check out these kinds of opportunities to get the small startup capital you need in the early phase of your business. – Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

7. Credit Card Balance Transfers

If you have good credit and can get a decent limit on a credit card, open several credit cards at once. Then, transfer balances between the cards when your balance is at $0.00. You'll have a credit and can request a refund via check for the balance. Voilà! You have a small fixed rate loan and can use the cash to fund your business. – Mark Cenicola,

8. The Local Chamber of Commerce

One frequently ignored source of microfunding is your local Chamber of Commerce. Chamber's work with local and State Government to establish low-interest loan programs of all sizes. You'll need to be a member of the chamber, but aside from low-interest loans you'll also be able to network old school. – Kristopher Jones,

9. Kiva Zip

Kiva Zip is a program that provides small business owners in the U.S. with easier access to capital through person-to-person lending. Kiva Zip loans are crowdfunded by a community of lenders from around the world, who can also serve as brand ambassadors and potential customers for your business. – Jason Grill, JGrill Media | Sock 101

10. Sponsorships

You don't need to be running across the country or doing charity work to look for sponsors. As long as you have a product or service that can draw attention to your sponsors, you're in the game. Perhaps it can be through advertising, media appearances or having their name appended to yours for some time. Many big companies like to be seen helping "the little guy." – Nicolas Gremion,

11. Strategic Partnerships

For some companies looking for a little extra cash, it can be a good option to seek out complementary businesses to partner with. Look for businesses that offer products or services that could be a value-add to your own offerings. These types of partnerships can yield the additional capital you need. – David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

12. Cash Flow Businesses

When I started my cleaning company in 2008, it was with the long-term goal of starting other companies. We used the extra cash to help finance other business ideas we had. The cleaning business was an easy entry field and took little money to start. Within the first year, we had excess funds to begin starting other companies. Today, it's helped start three other businesses and is still in operation. – Kyle Clayton, Better Creative

Image Credit: Utah778 / Getty Images
Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber Member
Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Gerber is also a serial entrepreneur, regular TV commentator and author of the book Never Get a “Real” Job.