A capital investment can be better than a loan for a growing company: there are no regular payments to make, and the investment increases the company's equity, making it easier for the company to qualify for conventional bank loans.

"Equity is a major missing component in a lot of small companies. But, there's no one providing small-scale equity. So, we come in and provide a layer of equity, which allows a bank to lend to the business."

Nat Henshaw, Coastal Enterprises Venture Fund

Real stories

Soleras is a manufacturing company in Maine that hired low-income people, including former welfare recipients, under an employment and training agreement when it got a venture capital investment from Coastal Enterprises.