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Optimism Won’t Keep Small-Businesses Thriving, Credit Will




Earlier this month, survey results from the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index for QT 3 2018 showed small-business owners are optimistic about their current financial situation, cash flow expectation, and credit availability in the next 12 months.

While U.S. small-business owners’ optimism is at a record high, the truth remains that nearly half of all small businesses fail within five years.

“Most businesses fail due to financial mismanagement,” says Gerri Detweiler, small business and credit expert. “The lack of capital that small business owners are able to access is a large factor contributing to their failure, as well as a lack of knowledge about business credit and financing options.”

The knowledge gap around business credit scores is astonishing. According to a recent survey, 72% of business owners didn’t know what their business credit score was, and a slightly lower percentage reported they didn’t know what a business credit score was. 

“Consumers’ understanding of the importance of their credit score has increased in the last few years,” says Detweiler. “Unfortunately, there is still a large gap in business owners’ knowledge and understanding of business credit.”

To address the gap in small business owners’ understanding of business credit and financing options, Levi King and Caton Hanson founded Nav in 2012. Nav is the only place where business owners can access both their personal and business credit scores. The company also shares tips and resources for small business owners who are both starting out and have been in business for years.

“Everyone says they love the American Dream, but when it comes to financing your own business, the dream and reality don’t add up,” says Levi King, CEO, and co-founder of Nav, and a serial entrepreneur. “At Nav, we’re on a mission to materially reduce the small business death rate in America. By using AI, we’re able to help small businesses make more educated decisions about their financing options and business needs.”

More than 400,00 small business owners have signed up for Nav to access their free business credit data.

“From personal experience, I know how hard it is to run a small business,” says King. “Managing finances was always the most miserable part of it. If Nav can help even a small fraction of the small businesses out there, it will ripple throughout the entire economy.”  

King isn’t the only one who thinks Nav has the potential for success and large-scale impact. Millions of dollars in backing have come from large investors including Goldman Sachs, Experian, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. In late August 2018, Nav will close its Series C round of funding.

“Nav’s access to unique data introduces a new level of ease and transparency to small business credit and finance,” Rana Yared, Managing Director in the Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments group, said last year after Nav closed its B round. “We’re excited to support Nav’s efforts to empower small business owners and help them scale their platform.”

Beyond investors, Nav has partnerships with some of the biggest names in finance, including American Express, BlueVine, and Funding Circle. Partnerships allow Nav to offer competitive lending and financing options to small businesses.

“Nav has a robust, lender-agnostic marketplace for customers to review, allowing small business owners to consider options that best fit their business,” shares King.

Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Kivo Daily Magazine