UK Women Entrepreneurs Learn About IA Small Business Financing

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cynthia Freeman, Loan Service Coordinator at Invest Atlanta, spoke to a group of women entrepreneurs from the north of England looking to expand their business in Atlanta.

On Tuesday, March 21, at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) office in the Flatiron building in Downtown, Freeman participated in the session, “Creative Financing for Startups & Small Businesses.” The powerhouse panel included Freeman, as well as Kathryn Petralia, Founder and Head of Operations at Kabbage, Genevieve Bos, Managing Partner of Thought Capital, and Mayte Peck, Director of the Women’s Business Center for Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE).

The panelists discussed the different ways small businesses can finance a small business expansion, including through equity investments, bank loans, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, microloans, or gap financing from organizations like Invest Atlanta.

“If you’re thinking about moving to the City of Atlanta, we’d like you to come in and work with Invest Atlanta,” said Freeman. To receive a loan through Invest Atlanta, these entrepreneurs would first have to set up a subsidiary within the City of Atlanta. Since 2001, Invest Atlanta closed 174 loans representing $10.9 million and leveraging $41.3 million to support small businesses as they seek to expand or relocate to Atlanta.

Freeman pointed out that 41 percent of the businesses that receive a loan through Invest Atlanta’s small business loan programs are owned by women.

“We’re very proud of that, and we’d like to get that number up,” she added.

Freeman’s participation in the WEI-hosted event is part of a larger strategy to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Atlanta by highlighting the city’s competitive business strengths and distinctive economic assets.

Metro Atlanta is home to 2,500 foreign-owned enterprises employing nearly 135,000 people. Of these, 17,600, or 13.1 percent, are created by businesses headquartered in the U.K., making the island nation the second largest source of FDI by jobs created in metro Atlanta.