Often the most difficult hurdle to a start-up is the first one: seed financing (I.e. Startup capital). Entrepreneurs can mistakenly believe that SBA and commercial bank loans are the only source of financing outside of personal savings. As posted in a previous blog, only about 13% of Inc. Magazines 100 Most Admired Companies of 2013 took on commercial bank loans. An increasingly viable option is microlending/peer-to-peer lending. These are less formal lending systems that individual lenders offer money to borrowers at often much lower interest rates than that of commercial banks.
This interesting Harvard Business Review article titledThe End of Banks as We Know Them? discusses such unconventional lending.