Times have gotten tough. Not just for investors, but for business owners as well. Sometimes it can feel like there are large corporate forces at work, squeezing the little guys. If you’re feeling that way, you’re not alone. The folks at Mainvest felt the same way, and they decided to do something about it.
In the modern economy, individuals trying to build wealth get squeezed when the minimum threshold for investing can be so high. And small business owners are getting squeezed by globalization, where cheap products are made overseas and sold in big-box stores.
If you’ve felt that pressure on either end, you’re not alone. According to a popular investing site, some of the biggest barriers to investing are the high costs. And Fortune Magazine has outlined the struggles faced by even larger brick-and-mortar retailers.
Who is Mainvest?
Mainvest came about as a way to help both types of people caught in the squeeze of the modern economy. They take their name from a combination of Mainstreet business and investment—Mainstreet Invest: Mainvest.
Mainvest sets itself apart from other investment services because it’s also a revenue site for small businesses. That means they can help an individual invest their money to get better returns, and they can help a small business raise money for much needed overhead, or even for capital.
Mainvest has been in business since 2018, and their purpose is to keep money local, and keep it within the grasp of everyday people. Anyone can invest for as little as $100, and small businesses can tap those investors for much needed revenue.
How Does it Work?
Mainvest works in two important ways. The first is by recruiting investors to provide funds. The second is by recruiting small businesses to participate as investment opportunities. We’ll go through each process individually, starting with people who want to invest.
How to invest?
First you make an account, and Mainvest has made this very easy. You can even use your Google account, if you have one. All that you need to provide is your name and email.
After that you can start browsing vetted businesses to invest your money in. You can visit the company’s website, or you can click on their information right there on Mainvest’s website.
What is Vetting? Mainvest has a strict set of guidelines when they vet companies. You can read more about it in the next section. But as an investor, you should know that Mainvest requires each business to have already raised $10,000 from private investors (not banks), demonstrating that each participating company has already shown it can be responsible to real people, just like you.
Here you can see a company’s forecast, and when they’re promising to begin repayment on investments.
Once you’ve picked a company, you can choose to invest any amount you wish, up to their fundraising goal. And that’s it.
After that you can check in on your investment at any time, and even join the other investors on social media. Once you’re invested, you can proudly declare that not only are you part owner of a brewery, or donut shop, but you can also send business their way.
This gives you the opportunity to not only build your wealth, but build pride in small business development.
How to Raise Funds
Raising revenue with Mainvest presents multiple benefits over traditional borrowing structures. For one, there are no interest rates—you share profit based on the terms you write.
That’s right, you set the terms. You decide the repayment scale, the minimum investments, and the amount needed. Unlike when you go to a bank and they have minimum amounts that may exceed what you need, or scheduled interest payments regardless of whether you make any money from the loan.
Raising capital with Mainvest has three easy steps, outlined on their website.
Set your terms
You don’t need to pass a credit check, or provide collateral. Just follow the guidelines and set your terms for repayment and funds.
Create a marketing strategy, and engage investors one on one through social media and the Mainvest site. Put your creative and personal skills and energy to work for your own business.
Put your capital to work
Use the funds for everything from seasonal hiring to purchasing or renting equipment. Then keep your relationships strong and make repayments to your investors, incase you want to raise more funds in the future.
The Good and the Not Good
Why We Recommend Mainvest
With complete honesty, we can say we haven’t seen an investment site with quite this level of opportunity and upside in a long time. Mainvest has taken the model of “crowdfunding” and made it more reliable and safe, for both the investor and the business.
Unlike some other crowdfunding sites, Mainvest vets each participating business. That means you know, as an investor, that each time you view a business, they’ve had to provide financial records, sales projections, and even a business plan.
Investing with Mainvest means you’re supporting real businesses in real communities, not fly-by-night strangers who may or may not ever turn up with a product or service.
For businesses, the upsides are almost self-explanatory. You don’t need to go hat-in-hand to a bank, fight the pressures and stress of interest rates and loan officers, and then face the very real possibility of having your loan denied.
When you choose to raise capital with Mainvest, you know that you're working with people who have a vested interest in you actually raising the money—because that’s how they’ll make their fee. And once the money is raised, you don’t have to worry about a monthly payment attached to a strict interest rate. It’s profit sharing—if you don’t realize a profit, you don’t pay the shares.
Why Mainvest May Not be Right for You
As an investor, the very real possibility exists that you will not receive any return on your investment. Just like the upside for businesses is that they don’t have an interest payment, for the investor that means there’s no guarantee of repayment.
There is, however, a guarantee of repayment if the company makes any money as a result of your investment.
For businesses, the only real reason to stay away is if you’re not confident in your business model or financial forecasts. But if you know you have a great product, service, or company, then the sky very well could be the limit with Mainvest.
Pros and Cons
We should all support small businesses more, and one of the best ways we can do that is to keep our money local. Shopping at local stores helps, but it sometimes it doesn’t help enough. If a local cafe needs a new espresso machine, they can’t make more coffee to raise the money.
More importantly, Mainvest gives both investors and businesses an opportunity to bypass the trappings of big-business globalization and financial markets. Everyday individuals can exercise their investment dollar, and more small businesses can access funds.
We suggest checking out Mainvest, for yourself, today.
Yes, but you should remember that they are only the broker. They do their best to vet companies, but they can’t guarantee that a company you invest with will succeed.
For investors, yes. It’s completely free to browse and invest in small businesses. You can even search for businesses by category, or by region.
No. No one can guarantee that a business will succeed. Because Mainvest doesn’t charge interest to their client businesses, they can’t guarantee a return to investors.
No, never. You will only pay once you’re accepted.
Because of very strict SEC rules, your best bet is to only mention that you raise funds through Mainvest, and direct them to the website.