Understanding Equity Capital

Equity capital or financing is money raised by a business in exchange for a share of ownership in the company. Ownership is represented by owning shares of stock outright or having the right to convert other financial instruments into stock of that private company. Two key sources of equity capital for new and emerging businesses are angel investors and venture capital firms.

Typically, angel capital and venture capital investors provide capital unsecured by assets to young, private companies with the potential for rapid growth. Such investing covers most industries and is appropriate for businesses through the range of developmental stages. Investing in new or very early companies inherently carries a high degree of risk. But venture capital is long term or “patient capital” that allows companies the time to mature into profitable organizations.

Angel and venture capital is also an active rather than passive form of financing. These investors seek to add value, in addition to capital, to the companies in which they invest in an effort to help them grow and achieve a greater return on the investment. This requires active involvement and almost all venture capitalists will, at a minimum, want a seat on the board of directors.

Although investors are committed to a company for the long haul, that does not mean indefinitely. The primary objective of equity investors is to achieve a superior rate of return through the eventual and timely disposal of investments. A good investor will be considering potential exit strategies from the time the investment is first presented and investigated.

If you would like to more information on funding your small business. schedule an appointment with one our small business counselors

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Iowa Western Community College

2700 College Road

121 Ashley Hall (Park in Ashley Hall Visitor Parking)

Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503

712-325-3350

Sue Pitts - spitts@iwcc.edu

Michael Mitilier - mmitilier@iwcc.edu

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA). All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA