Democratizing Access to Capital For Business Owners
With inflation and interest rates on the rise, small and mid-sized companies are thinking twice about when and how to seek capital. At the same time, with economic uncertainty ahead, lenders are becoming increasingly selective.
And there’s another key factor complicating commercial lending today: the current model is antiquated, inefficient, and—because it’s largely manual—susceptible to bias. Business owners deserve better.
It’s time for a commercial lending model that leverages the efficiency, scalability, and objectivity that technology can provide. That’s where Foro comes in.
Foro’s mission is to democratize access to capital by not only significantly streamlining commercial lending, but also giving borrowers the autonomy to choose—not settle for—their lender.
Modernizing a Biased, Outdated Ecosystem
As it stands, commercial lending is complicated, time-consuming, and opaque. Between national banks, credit unions, and other lenders, determining the right partner can be a challenge—particularly for business owners that already have limited time. Even once borrowers have narrowed down their pool of financial institutions, they need to initiate several applications, tailoring each one to different specifications. Then the waiting begins.
On the lender side, initial reviews are executed manually by relationship managers, which makes the process not only painfully slow, but also prone to unconscious bias. Qualified companies may be overlooked because of their background, the nature of their business, or simply because they haven’t provided adequate information.
But Foro offers a more transparent, efficient, supportive, and inherently inclusive way to secure capital.
The Foro Formula: Helping Business Owners Stay in Control
Our process is simple and intuitive. Business owners spend five minutes or less filling out a guided business profile where they’re prompted for basic information, including their geography, industry, capital needs, and financials. If questions arise, Foro’s there from the start, supporting business owners during this first—and every subsequent—phase of their journey towards loan approval.
Once the business profile is completed, it’s distributed to multiple financial institutions at once, without any added effort from the business owner. Because we anonymize the profile, lenders won’t see the identity of the applicant or the name of the business. Instead, they’ll base their decision on the company’s merits and vision—a key step towards expanding access to capital and eliminating bias.
Within 48 hours, Foro provides borrowers with a list of lenders that have expressed interest in continuing the conversation. But it’s not just a list of any lenders—we apply an algorithm to the business profile and the parameters set by financial institutions to identify the best-qualified options.
From there, borrowers get an opportunity they might not have otherwise gotten: choosing which lender to engage with. And Foro will be there every step of the way.
We’ll support business owners as they compile additional information, review their offers, and accept term sheets. We help them see around corners, preparing them for conversations with financial institutions, reviewing terms, and more. Our industry experts have first-hand experience at large national banks and are dedicated to helping business owners navigate complexity, and make informed decisions.
During this current era of economic uncertainty, it’s critical that business owners have greater access and choice. They need an avenue to easily connect with multiple lenders at once in a timely manner, as well as the autonomy to select with whom they ultimately engage. By offering business owners a more efficient process with constant support, Foro’s putting borrowers in the driver’s seat, providing them with the confidence they need to grow their businesses.