How iBusiness Funding Is Revitalizing Local Economies and Stimulating Community Growth

Justin Levy

Source: Investing.com - 04/26/2024

Justin Levy's iBusiness Funding is revolutionizing the traditional lending landscape, making capital more accessible for small businesses through innovative technology and inclusive strategies. With a focus on underserved communities and a blend of old and new lending methodologies, iBusiness Funding is not just supporting business ventures but fostering community development and economic diversity.

In an economy that’s steadily become dominated by big-box stores and nationwide chains, small businesses continue to buoy local communities. However, as some small business owners know too well, securing funding can be more complicated than it looks. Justin Levy, CEO of iBusiness Funding, is changing that.

By streamlining and simplifying the lending process using technology, iBusiness Funding aims to empower small businesses. Here’s how Levy and his team are accomplishing this goal.

Transforming Traditional Methods to Make Lending More Accessible

The industry has essentially worked the same way for a long time, and it will take a revolution to democratize the lending process. The way Levy sees it, this revolution will not come from totally revamping the industry but instead embracing what has worked and making it more accessible.

While older, established processes work great to determine prudent lending decisions, they just take too long and often don’t give newer businesses a fair chance for funding. Rather than throw these established processes out the window and replace them completely, the goal should be instead to improve them — to straddle the line between the old and new in a way that brings the best of both together.

This hybrid approach results in newer, smaller businesses getting approved. Because a holistic methodology looks at more varied factors than traditional approaches, a borrower doesn’t have to have a long track record to get funding. This is important because many small business owners in underserved communities struggle to get off the ground, and if they don’t get funding relatively early on, they might end up closing before they ever really have a chance to lay the foundation for long-term growth. Levy aims to change that with iBusiness Funding.

The Role of Technology in Improving the Lending Process

One way iBusiness Funding is working to improve lending is by leveraging technology. To this end, iBusiness Funding developed a software called LenderAI — an end-to-end loan operating system where the banker can log in and see every aspect of the lending process.

This technology helps more borrowers at scale. For example, instead of filling out a paper form, borrowers can fill out a self-guided digital form. This helps them accurately enter their information the first time instead of having to correct it multiple times. The information they enter is also stored in the software, auto-filling in various places to make the process even more streamlined and reduce the risk of human error.

iBusiness Funding has fine-tuned this form to collect the exact data needed to complete an application for funding, build their business, and climb the credit ladder. With this relevant data stored in the system, business owners can get approved for the right loan for their business needs.

Helping Underserved Communities by Democratizing Lending

A more efficient lending process also lowers the total cost, which in-turn ends up helping underserved borrowers like women-owned and minority-owned businesses. In fact, over 62% of all the lending iBusiness Funding powers is either to a woman-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned business. In this way, they’re empowering people who historically have been less likely to open businesses — or at least less likely to get funding for it.

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As Levy notes, “The best part is that we aren’t just investing in businesses — we’re investing in the whole community. More small companies translate to more jobs, which is better for everyone.”

iBusiness Funding’s Exponential Growth and Promising Future

Levy’s accessible approach to lending has paid off in a big way. “When we started in 2020, we did eight loans for $2 million,” he says. “In 2021, we did 112 loans for $18.2 million. In 2022, it was $78 million. Last year, we were over $200 million; this year, our goal is to be over $400 million. That’s just in the amount of loans we process ourselves.”

He says that his goal is to make the market efficient and transparent. Transparency helps people know what they're getting into and why they do or do not qualify. And if they don’t, they’ll know exactly what they need to do to qualify. As he puts it, every business should be able to get some type of financing.

Levy’s approach to democratizing lending has obviously paid off. And as iBusiness Funding continues to grow and improve the lending process, his work has the potential to impact millions.

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