Shopify, the Canadian eCommerce giant behind one of the best POS systems (opens in new tab), has announced a new initiative that it hopes will make starting your own business easier. The company will be offering new merchants a $200 stater loan through its financial offshoot, Shopify Capital, to facilitate things like brand building, investment in inventory, and early-stage marketing.
All you need to do to take advantage of the loan offer is sign up to Shopify and link your bank account. No personal guarantees or credit checks are required, making it more accessible than even the best personal loans, though the loan amount is admittedly on the modest side.
“For the immigrant who is new in the country, the student in the college dorm and the mom who has been out of work for awhile the starter loan makes it a little bit easier,” said Kaz Nejatian, vice president and general manager of Shopify Financial Solutions (via (opens in new tab) Forbes).
He added: “That $200 can get you your first Instagram ad or logo."
Automated payback and low interest rates
Starting your own business requires more than just a great idea. As well as a strong credit score, banks typically require a comprehensive business plan including projections before offering a loan, while funding a startup with credit card can be expensive due to high interest rates. Borrowing money from friends or family is another option, but it's just plain awkward for many of us.
“Most entrepreneurs don’t have a five year plan and have terrible credit scores. It limits the pool of enterprises starting businesses. We lowered the barriers for small businesses, making it really easy to set up an online store, making it easy to ship and now we want merchants to start businesses as easily and quickly as possible," commented Mr Nejatian.
Shopify says that the interest rate for its $200 loan will be down to its underwriters, but that most people can expect a figure in the low teens. Payments are made automatically every 60 days as a fixed percentage of the merchant's sales and the company says it won't come knocking if your idea fails to take off, so you're unlikely to have to turn to one of the best debt settlement companies.
Shopify Capital was first launched in April 2016 and has offered more than $750m in loans to date. You can learn more about how it works by reading our Shopify POS review.