In 2020, Robert Plasco launched his personal loan company to lend cash to millennials with low or no credit scores. He learned about the opportunity the hard way. An immigrant from New Zealand, Plasco moved to London to work in finance. Lacking the credit history needed for a loan, he turned to high-interest credit cards to cover the city’s notoriously high cost of living. “In 2017, I went bankrupt and had to go through a number of methods to get my life back on track,” says Plasco. “The pain drove me to set up Plend for people who can’t access affordable credit.” Plend, cofounded with James Pursaill, ditches traditional credit scores and instead uses a mix of indicators to offer cheaper loans to customers who would otherwise be charged high, subprime interest rates. “We look at new data points such as what you earn, which industry you work in, how you spend your money and are you paying your subscriptions on time?” says Plasco. Investors have given his new scoring system high marks. In November 2022, Plasco raised $45 million in seed capital from funds including Active Partners, Sivo, Velocity Juice, Tomahawk VC and DD Venture Capital.
Even a difficult year marred by the ongoing war in Ukraine, a pressing energy crisis, rocketing inflation and a barrage of natural disasters couldn’t slow down Europe’s youngest visionary leaders. In a historically tough environment, the 300 founders and entrepreneurs featured on our 2023 Forbes Under 30 Europe list raised more than $3 billion in capital—$1 billion more than our 2022 class. Europe’s brightest founders are putting the cash to work, building bold companies that are out to combat climate change, fight fraud, reinvent the banking industry and better treat infections.
To compile our eighth annual list, Forbes writers and editors combed through thousands of online submissions, and tapped industry experts and list alumni for recommendations. Candidates were evaluated by Forbes staff and a panel of independent, expert judges (including beauty entrepreneur and Bliss Spa founder Marcia Kilgore, musician Joy Crookes and Zepz, formerly WorldRemit, founder Ismail Ahmed) on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) funding, revenue, social impact, scale, inventiveness and potential. All final listers must have been 29 or younger as of March 7, 2023.
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Small Business Loans
Whether you’re looking to start a business or simply need more cash to grow, there are many options for small business loans. These range from traditional bank lenders to online non-bank lenders and credit unions.
Traditional lenders generally offer lower rates, but they may have more stringent qualification requirements and funding times can take longer. They also typically require a personal guarantee from the business owner.
Startup Business Loans
Startup business loans can help new businesses get the money they need to grow. These loans can be used for a variety of reasons, including equipment financing, inventory acquisition and software development.
In general, these types of loans have less stringent qualifications than traditional business loans, making them more accessible to startups. However, the loan amounts and borrowing terms vary by lender and loan type.
One of the first things to consider when deciding on a startup business loan is your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better your chances of qualifying for the best rates and terms.
If you’re a small business owner, startup capital is a type of funding that can be used to get your company started. It can cover a range of costs from renting space to buying equipment and developing new products.
Getting startup capital can be difficult, though, so you may want to look at other options. Some common choices include crowdfunding, personal loans or a business credit card.
Banks are another good source of startup financing, but it can be challenging to find a bank that is willing to lend to a startup without some assets. Most banks are risk-averse, and they typically require good personal credit, a business plan with financial projections and a down payment.
Startup funding can help your business grow by financing the purchase of equipment, machinery, supplies, inventory and furniture. It can also cover office utilities and other business expenses.
Angel investors and venture capital firms invest in startups that have high growth potential. This type of financing does not require monthly payments, but it may require you to give up some ownership of your company.
Small-business loans, on the other hand, allow you to retain complete business control while starting repaying your loan immediately plus interest. However, most traditional finance lenders, such as banks, will only lend to established companies with sound financials.
A number of government and private agencies offer grants for startups that don’t qualify for traditional business loans. These are often called microloans, and they typically provide small amounts of money to new businesses, usually $50,000 or less.
Business Lines of Credit
A business line of credit is an ideal financing option for businesses that need to access short-term cash. These are commonly used by small businesses to cover temporary working capital requirements such as payroll during slow seasons or periods of work shortages.
When a small business draws funds from its business line of credit, it only pays interest on the amount it borrows. This allows the small business to repay its debt over time, making it easier to manage working capital needs.
To qualify for a business line of credit, lenders typically review your company’s financial history and qualifications. They may want to see proof of your business revenue, personal credit scores for guarantors and your company’s assets. They also want to know how long your business has been in operation and how well you’re managing your finances.
Business Term Loans
There are a number of business loans available to help small businesses grow. These can be sourced from banks, credit unions and online lenders.
These financing options can be used to finance a variety of activities, such as buying inventory, boosting cash flow or investing in a new opportunity. Many of these loans have repayment terms ranging from one to five years.
Term loans are typically secured, meaning they require collateral or a personal guarantee. This can give borrowers greater flexibility in the way they secure their funding, but it also means that lenders are more likely to default on the loan if the borrower fails to repay their debt.
Generally, interest rates on these loans range from 7% to 30%. This can make them an affordable choice for a growing small business, but the rate may not be the best option if your business’s qualifications are less than ideal.