24 Ways to Fund Your Business

Loans, debt, and equity financing for your business in New Orleans

We work with many businesses through our accelerator programs, and one of the questions we are frequently asked is, “How much does it cost to start a business?”

While all businesses are different and there is no single correct answer to this question, the Kauffmann Foundation estimated in 2009 that the average startup cost was approximately $30,000. 

We work with the entrepreneurs in our accelerator programs to understand the financial needs of their business and to improve their profitability so that they can create impact. When a business is just getting started, the idea of raising capital and funding can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help. Below, we’ve put together a list of more than twenty ways to fund your small business in Louisiana.


Loans or debt financing provide companies with funding with the requirement that the company pays the full amount back over a fixed amount of time with a set interest rate. This type of funding allows a company to retain full ownership, but can limit cash flow as a result of ongoing payments. This list includes lenders who provide financing to startup companies qualified as too risky for traditional bank lending.

Propeller Social Venture Fund

A $1 million loan fund that provides below market-rate loans between $20,000 and $100,000 to businesses and nonprofits tackling disparities in the areas of food, water, health, and education. The fund also provides loans to entrepreneurs of color located in the South Broad commercial corridor.

Contact: Kris Khalil, fund@gopropeller.org
Learn more and apply here >


Government-guaranteed loans to small- and medium-sized companies. Loans range from $750,000 to $5,000,000 for working capital, business or asset acquisitions, facility expansions, and purchases of equipment and business real estate. Businesses must be small or rural, located within a qualified low-income census tract. 50% of services and 50% of tangible property must be located in low-income
census tracts.

Contact: Tommy Titus, ttitus@advantagecap.com, 601 954-6636
Learn more and apply here >

Enhanced Capital

An asset manager that lends to small businesses that are early-stage, located in high-poverty census tracts, owned by women or people of color, have a green focus, or plan to contribute to job growth.

Contact: Shane McCarthy, smccarthy@enhancedcapital.com, 504 569-7909
Learn more >

Foundation for Louisiana Community Investment Fund

Bridge loans up to $20,000 for socially-conscious Louisiana ventures that find it difficult or impossible to access traditional funding sources. Loans are below-market rate loans and awarded to projects that align with Foundation for Louisiana's mission of investing in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities statewide. $500 application fee.

Contact: Lydia Cutrer, lcutrer@foundationforlouisiana.org
Learn more and view the application >

Jefferson Parish Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO)

Provides a number of different funding opportunities, including:

  • SBA 504: Available statewide for small businesses in Louisiana to purchase commercial real estate, purchase equipment, or refinance existing debt.  Minimum total project cost is $250,00.  Typically structured as 50% financing from a private sector lender, 40% from JEDCO/SBA, and 10% borrower equity. 10-year loan term for equipment, 20-year for real estate. 25-year term for real estate expected to be available in mid-2018.
  • JED(Grow) Loan Program: Loan size is typically $25,000 to $500,000 for Jefferson Parish-based small businesses. Loans can be used for working capital, real estate or equipment purchase, or supplemental financing to Bank loans.

To apply: call a loan officer for an application and personalized consultation.
Contact: Jennifer Lapeyrouse, jlapeyrouse@jedco.org, 504 875-3924
See all loan offerings >


Kiva New Orleans is a coalition of non-profits, including the ASI Federal Credit Union and Good Work Network. Kiva New Orleans offers direct loans of up to $10,000 with 0% interest and no minimum credit score. 

Learn more and apply here >

Lift Fund

A fund providing $500 to $1 million in government-backed loans to business owners who may fall just beneath bank guideline requirement, have limited credit and formal financial records, or are in the early stages of business. Loans include:

  • SBA 504: $25,000 to $5.5 million in loans for small businesses to pay for equipment and real estate or refinance existing debt. Typically structured as 50% financing from a private sector lender, 40% from Lift Fund, and 10% equity.
  • SBA 7a: $50,000 to $250,000 loans to small businesses in business for no more than two years that are located in low- to moderate-income communities, have a full-time workforce that is 51% or more low-income, or are 51% or more veteran-owned.
  • Fresh!: $500 to $250,000 loans for startup and established businesses working in fresh food products and services.

Contact: Jarrett Woods, jwoods@liftfund.com, 888 215-2373
Learn more and apply here >

Louisiana Culturepreneur Fund

Creatives can access loans of up to $10,000 at interest rates as low as 8% for periods of up to three years for needs or ideas that can help them grow and prosper. All applicants will work with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) to create a customized technical assistance plan and will be required to complete at least 12 hours of training within the first 18 months of the loan period.

Contact: Aimee Smallwood, aimee@culturaleconomy.org, 504 895-2800
Learn more and apply here >


A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing up to $1 million in loans to small and emerging businesses or franchises located in the state of Louisiana for operating capital, equipment and inventory. Loans include:

  • SBA Microloan: $1,000 to $15,000 in loans to Louisiana-based small and emerging businesses or franchises for the use of operating capital, inventory, or equipment. 6 to 10% fixed interest rate with payment terms up to 5 years.
  • Revolving Capital Fund: $5,000 to $250,000 in loans to Louisiana-based small and emerging businesses or franchises for the use of operating capital, inventory, or equipment. 6 to 12% fixed interest rate with payment terms up to 7 years.

Contact: Rose Taylor, roseangel@newcorpinc.com, 504 208-1700
Learn more and apply here >

New Orleans BioFund

Loans ranging $50,000 to $250,000 for small businesses in Southeast Louisiana to purchase sales inventory or equipment. Low-interest rates and flexible loan terms. All industries eligible, preference for biotech companies.

Contact: Kris Khalil, kkhalil@neworleansbio.com, 504 593-6446
Learn more and apply here >

Regional Loan Corporation

A nonprofit small business development company providing up to $5 million in low-interest loans for Louisiana-based small businesses unable to obtain full conventional financing through private financial institutions.

  • SBA 504: $250,000 to $5.5 million in loans for small businesses to pay for equipment and real estate or refinance existing qualified debt. Typically structured as 50% financing from a private sector lender, 40% from the Regional Loan Corporation, and 10% equity.
  • SBA 7a: $50,000 to $300,000 loans to small businesses (including startups) located in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Loans can be used for the purchase of real estate, equipment, inventory or working capital.
  • EDA/LED: $25,000 to $250,000 loans to Louisiana-based businesses for the purchase of equipment, real estate, inventory, working capital, or professional fees.
  • Restore Louisiana Small Business Program: $20,000 to $150,000 loans to assist small businesses and nonprofits directly impacted by the Severe Storms and Flooding Events of 2016. Loans have a 0% interest rate and are structured as 60% repayable, 40% forgivable.

Contact: Tee Betz, teebetz@rlcsbidco.com, 504 524-6172
Learn more and apply here >


TruFund Financial Services, Inc. is a certified community development financial institution with Louisiana offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  TruFund’s mission is to promote and foster economic development within underserved communities and among disadvantaged populations.  TruFund achieves this by providing innovative financial solutions that have TruImpact.  TruFund offers affordable loan capital to small businesses and nonprofit organizations that are financially viable, but have difficulty accessing capital from banks and other conventional lenders.  In additional to small business loans, TruFund offers and array of technical assistance services. Types of Loans:

  • Small Business Loans $50,000 - $350,000
  • SBA 7(a) Community Advantage Loans
  • Contractor Mobilization Loans
  • Micro-Enterprise Loans
  • Nonprofit Loans
  • Disaster Relief Loans

New Orleans contact: David Buggage, dbuggage@trufund.org, 504 293-5550
Baton Rouge contact: Larry Dents, Ldents@trufund.org, 225.706.8442
Learn more and apply here >


Equity financing raises money through sale of shares in a company. This type of financing has no repayment obligation or interest rates, giving a business owner more working capital. Instead, companies pay equity investors an agreed-upon percentage of profits and give investors a say in their business, ranging from day-to-day operation to how you spend the money they have invested.

Angels of Southwest Louisiana

An angel network investing $150,000–$250,000 in in companies currently located in or interested in moving to Louisiana. No industry preference. Eligible companies meet a demonstrated need, have an execution-focused management team, are competitive within their industry, and will create a positive economic impact on Louisiana.

Contact: Jeffrey Stevens Ph.D, jstevens@mcneese.edu, 337 491-0645
Learn more and apply here >

Catalyst Fund

A Baton Rouge-based fund investing up to $250,000 in convertible debt, plus advisory services and mentoring, in Louisiana-based seed or early stage high-tech companies with a proof-of-concept and demonstrated scalable business model.

Contact: Louis Freeman, louis@innovationcatalyst.us, 225 215-2496
Learn more and apply here >

Foodshed Investors

An Austin-based investor network for lfirms raising between $10,000 and $1mm in total for this round. Foodshed Investors likes small deals, modest plans, and local impact with sustainable food companies. Beyond funding, they also offer Advisory Services for companies to help prepare small food businesses to receive external funds.

Contact: Evan Driscoll, evan@foodshedinvestors.com
Learn more and apply here >

Lagniappe Angels

An angel investment group that invests $200,000 to $1 million in early-stage companies with a proven product, strong team, and a clear five year path to investor liquidity. Lagniappe also invests through the NO/LA Angel Network but will not consider a deal simultaneously applying to NO/LAAN.

Contact: Jon Atkinson, jatkinson@lagniappeangels.com, 504 994-0786
Learn more and apply here >

New Orleans BioFund

A fund operated by the New Orleans BioInnovation Center investing $25,000 to $100,000 in Louisiana-based small businesses working in biotechnology, life sciences, and health care.

Contact: Kris Khalil, kkhalil@neworleansbio.com, 504 593-6446
Learn more and apply here >

New Orleans Startup Fund

A fund providing proof-of-concept capital ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to early-stage, pre-revenue companies in the 10-parish Greater New Orleans region. The fund target businesses with a clear vision to grow to at least $20 million in revenue over the next five years and capability to attract future rounds of investment capital.

Contact: Jimmy Roussel, jimmyroussel@gmail.com, 504 527-6900
Learn more and apply here >

NO/LA Angel Network

An angel network investing $200,000 to $1 million in seed or series A financing rounds for New Orleans our Louisiana-based companies with the potential to scale. Preference for companies in the industries of energy, analytics and big data, biotech, digital media, education/education technology, food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, internet/SaaS/Cloud solutions, logistics, materials, advanced manufacturing, and water management.

Contact: Mike Eckert, mjmeckert@cox.net, 678 427-2077
Learn more and apply here >

South Coast Angel Fund

A venture capital fund investing up to $1 million in early-stage and pre-revenue technology companies located in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast. To be eligible for investment, companies must "own" their technology and incorporate it as part of their business.

Contact: Clayton White, 504 609-3474

TSB Ventures

A private equity company investing $200,000 to $1 million in early- to mid-stage companies in industries including healthcare, defense, emergency response, criminal justice, financial services, telecommunications, oil and gas exploration, real estate and construction.

Contact: Jose Canseco, jose@tsbventures.com, 504 432-8096

Valmiki Bayou Partners

A venture capital fund created by Valmiki 504, a New Orleans-based branch of the New York firm Valmiki Capital. The fund invests $200,000 to $5 million in Louisiana-based startup companies.

Contact: Peggy Babin, peggy.babin@valmikicapital.com, 504-335-1941

Need More Help Starting Your Small Business?

Visit our resources page for new businesses or learn more about our accelerator programs which provide free assistance to businesses tackling inequities in New Orleans.