Is the “American dream” dead?

Is the idea of achieving the “American dream” a dying fantasy that is becoming impossible for more and more people? Yes, unfortunately, it is true. There is no doubt that the economy is suffering, and suffering with it is the American dream.

Entrepreneurs can’t afford to start businesses, families can’t afford to buy homes, and students can’t afford to go to college. Banks don’t seem to care, and the government seems to be paralyzed from the waist down.

But the fact is you don’t need a bank loan in order to build and grow a successful business, just like you don’t need an Ivy League college degree in order to be a successful entrepreneur and businessperson (though, it can help). We have to help ourselves and save our own economy, our own businesses, our American dream.

Raise money. Build dreams. 40Billion.com … Let’s start here!

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5 tips for approaching friends and family about your business

At 40billion.com, we provide online tools to help small-business and startup entrepreneurs increase access to funding and resources by leveraging their social networks, including friends and family. Here are 5 tips that we give to entrepreneurs to help them approach friends and relatives about their business:

1.  ASK FOR ADVICE & REFERRALS, NOT HANDOUTS

When you approach friends and family about your business, just share your idea in a conversational manner, and ask them for their advice, feedback, or referral. People are usually glad to give you their point-of-view if they think their advice or feedback may be helpful. And, if they really believe in you, they will either offer to help or they’ll be willing to refer you to someone who can help.

2.  FORMALIZE A LOAN OR DISCOUNT

Businesses often get started with a loan from the entrepreneur’s friend or relative, but it can be difficult to manage the relationship, especially if the loan is not formalized with a written agreement. Create a formal loan agreement with details of the loan, including what is owed, when payments are due, and any consequences for missing payments. Even if you’ve promised a discount to your friend or relative in exchange for a loan or referral, put it in writing and provide a discount coupon that can be redeemed. This may significantly reduce the risk of ruining your personal relationship over business.

3.  GIVE A PRESENTATION

Are you serious about your business? Then give a business plan presentation to your friends and family, and show them. This is your chance to display your professionalism and passion, while getting free advice and feedback from people you know. The result could get you closer to the funding, resources, and customers you need to get your business up and running.

4.  POST ON SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

Add a description of your business to social networking websites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This easily allows your friends and family to read about what you’re doing and spread the word to other people they know. So, instead of you going to them, they will come to you and ask about your new business.

5.  KEEP IN TOUCH

Be sure to thank your friends and family who supported you or helped you spread the word. Then, be sure to keep the lines of communication open by sending them regular company updates to let them know that their support has been put to good use, and you’re achieving those milestones that you set in your business plan. These communications will go a long way toward maintaining good relationships with your friends-and-family supporters, and they will be more likely to support you again as customers, investors, advisors and advocates.

40Billion.com Launches Funding Probability for Small Business Entrepreneurs

Tool uses algorithm to estimate likelihood that friends and family will invest in a business

40Billion.com, the leading professional social funding platform, has launched a beta version of its Funding Probability tool to help users determine who in their social networks are most likely to provide funding for their business ventures.

It is estimated that over 50% of new businesses generate funds from friends and family of the entrepreneurs. However, for many entrepreneurs, the main challenge that they face is locating the right people who are most willing and able to fund their ventures. Recognizing this common problem, 40Billion.com has created a unique solution called Funding Probability.

As the name suggests, the Funding Probability tool helps users estimate the probability that each person in their social network will become a funder or investor. The tool is based on a proprietary algorithm, which ranks each of the user’s contacts and indicates funding probability with an easy scale of High, Medium, and Low. The “High” probability contacts are those individuals who are most likely to provide funding to a particular business venture, and the “Low” probability contacts are individuals who are least likely to fund it. Based on this scale, the system is able to match the user’s venture with the most promising funding sources in their social networks.

Since launching a prototype of the Funding Probability tool in April, the company has seen promising results as 9 out of 10 actual funders in the entrepreneur’s social network on 40Billion were ranked either High or Medium on the funding probability scale.

The Funding Probability feature saves entrepreneurs time and resources that they often spend chasing unlikely funding sources. Fundraisers can access the tool by clicking Invite Your Friends on their business fundraising profile page, and 40Billion takes much of the guess work out of raising money. Step by step, the online company is working to make social funding easier for U.S. small businesses to raise money than traditional funding methods.

About 40Billion.com

40Billion.com is the social funding network for small businesses and startup entrepreneurs. 40Billion.com, Inc. is the first Internet-based microfinance company serving American small businesses. 40Billion.com’s scalable platform helps entrepreneurs raise funding more affordably through friends and family than through banks or other traditional financial institutions. Using proprietary online tools, entrepreneurs build social networks – including friends, relatives, colleagues, customers, and other contacts – and use these connections to raise capital through small business loans and gifts. Entrepreneurs create fundraising profiles and invite their connections to offer funding in exchange for discounts or potential returns. In business since 2008, the company aims to address a $40 billion funding gap. 40Billion.com, Inc. is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

40Billion.mobi is our new mobile website for professionals on-the-go

You can now access the power of 40Billion anywhere you are by using your Web-enabled mobile phone, Blackberry, iPhone, or Android smartphone. Sign in, manage your account, view Raises, view user profiles, read emails, add contacts, send invitations, search resources, and much more with the convenience of our mobile Web app.

Check it out at http://40billion.mobi on your phone today.

40Billion.com mobile website at 40billion.mobi

– The 40Billion Team

40billion.com Introduces Commercial Paper Offering



Additional social network funding option to help entrepreneurs create their own American dream

Nov 29, 2010 – Atlanta, GA, November 29, 2010—40Billion.com (http://www.40billion.com), a micro-funding platform that facilitates business capital fundraising through gifts and loans from an entrepreneur’s network of friends and family online, today announced the addition of an innovative Commercial Paper offering.

Commercial Paper is an unsecured Promissory Note to meet short-term liquidity needs. It is a lower cost alternative to a traditional bank line-of-credit (LOC).  Commercial Paper, which has been in existence for over 100 years, is used commonly by large corporations to raise quick and low cost working capital. 40Billion.com is pleased to be able to offer this reputable financing option to small- and mid-sized businesses seeking to borrow $5,000 to $1,000,000 for up to 270 days.

“We see this as a true ‘win-win’ situation for both investors and borrowers,” said Harendra Jani, vice-president of finance, 40Billion.com.  “If you asked entrepreneurs to name the most difficult obstacle to overcome when launching their business, the most common answer is likely to be access to low cost capital.  Providing a venue to access low cost capital has been 40Billion.com’s mission since day one, and the addition of Commercial Paper speaks directly to that mission.”

40Billion.com aims to address a $40 Billion gap in small business and startup funding by providing an online platform for social funding so that more entrepreneurs can have access to affordable business financing through gifts and loans.

40Billion.com helps entrepreneurs:

  • Gain access to needed funding to start and grow their business, with more funding options, and at rates that are lower and more affordable than most alternatives.
  • Formalize the terms of funding in order to reduce the risk of ruining relationships with friends-and-family funders, while building a network and reputation that they can utilize for future funding needs.
  • Take advantage of unique features that are created specifically for entrepreneurs that need to raise money.
  • Find trusted resources and services for their business, such as incorporation or company formation.
  • Acquire customers by offering services to other members on 40Billion.com.

“One of the many effects of the volatile credit market environment of the past few years is severely decreased access to affordable sources of business credit,” said Cornelius McNab, founder and CEO, 40Billion.com. “No segment has been affected more by this than entrepreneurs trying to live out their own version of the American dream.  Today’s entrepreneurs are tomorrow’s employers.  Providing access to capital for entrepreneurs will undoubtedly lead to job creation in the future, and 40Billion.com is proud to play a role in that process.”

About 40Billion.com
40Billion.com, Inc. is the first Internet-based microfinance company serving American small businesses. 40Billion.com’s scalable platform helps entrepreneurs raise funding more affordably through friends and family than through banks or other traditional financial institutions. Using proprietary online tools, entrepreneurs build social networks – including friends, relatives, colleagues, customers, and other contacts – and use these connections to raise capital through small business loans and gifts. Entrepreneurs create fundraising profiles and invite their connections to offer funding in exchange for discounts or potential returns. 40Billion.com, Inc. is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit http://www.40Billion.com.

Grab a widget! Add a custom widget on your website or blog for easier access to your business fundraising profile.

It’s easier than ever before to share and access Raises (business fundraising profiles) all over the Web. Just add a 40billion widget to your own website or blog. Simply copy the embed code and paste it into your website’s code wherever you want the widget to appear.
 
You can grab a widget for any Raise that you have access to on 40billion.com. Just click “Widgets” at the bottom of the page.
 
Want to try out an example? Visit our sample Raise and then click the Widgets link at the bottom of the page. Copy the code in the box for the widget that you want to use, and paste the code into your website or blog.
It’s just as simple as adding a YouTube video to your website or blog, and it’s FREE.
 
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