• Online marketplace helps SMEs find investors

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    SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups that are in a critical stage of their business and may be needing loans, investors, or links with other businesses now have an online lifeline.

    EntrepZone.com is an online marketplace for business owners looking for loans, investors, or other businesses to buy and is mainly targeted at SME owners who want to sell their business and those who want to reach out to banks and financial institutions.

    According to founder and CEO Greg Ballesteros Rivera, he created EntrepZone.com when he realized there was a big gap between the supply of service providers and the demand for the services they provide.

    “A large proportion of business owners facing various prospects and challenges don’t have access to advisors or investment banks to help them sell or raise funds for their businesses,” Rivera said.

    “No one wants to read about failed businesses. Everyone wants to read about the next Henry Sy or Injap Sia, but most of the time, things don’t work out as planned for the SME business owner,” he explained.

    EntrepZone.com allows entrepreneurs to list their business and provides a venue for potential investors to discover them. For SME business owners looking for loans, the site allows them to create a portfolio or pitch book for their business to be sent to the owner’s preferred bank or financing company, instead of making numerous trips to the bank and speaking to a lot of bank managers.

    “Creating a pitch book cuts time and cost for the owners because they simply have to do it once via the easy-to-use Pitchbook Generator in the website,” Rivera said.

    According to data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), SMEs form the backbone of the economy, accounting for more than 99 percent of all enterprises in the country and employing more than 63 percent of the domestic workforce.

    Also, Rivera said only a handful of SMEs gain access to the services of the big four accounting firms — Ernst & Young, PWC, KPMG, Deloitte — advisors, and investment banks.

    “This leaves out a majority of SME players, especially those outside the big cities. EntrepZone.com can help bridge this gap because they simply need to sign up and list their business on the website,” he said.

    Aside from offering an online business-for-sale marketplace, the company also offers advisory services for entrepreneurs who might need them. Their team of dedicated experts has more than 15 years of experience in financial advisory, consulting, and private equity.

    “Our services include financial due diligence, commercial due diligence, valuation, financial modeling, business consulting, mergers and acquisitions, tax advisory, fund raising and investor sourcing, and accounting and bookkeeping services,” Rivera added.

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