Resources to Help Start, Grow, or Fund Your Business
These resources provide information on a wide range of entrepreneurial subjects. Links on this page are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by Spruce Root.
Business Planning Resources
General Resources for Startups:
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers technical assistance, a variety of loan and other financing programs, and other resources to help a business get started and grow. Their business guide features many articles on starting and managing a business.
SCORE is a nonprofit association that provides education and volunteer mentors for entrepreneurs. Mentors are available to deliver free help both by email and in person, and they provide templates for business plans, finances and sales spreadsheets in their template gallery.
How to Develop your Business Plan:
The U.S. Small Business Administration has a Business Plan Tool that provides a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan. You write the plan by answering questions, and save it on-line so you can return later to edit or update. You must first register for a free account.
The Business Model Canvas is a helpful tool for mapping out the key components of a business plan, allowing you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model.
Additional links to business plan templates, outlines, and advice:
- Bplans.com has free examples, guides, and courses on writing business plans.
- The US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration provides a thorough business plan outline.
- SCORE provides templates for business plans and financial statements.
- SME Toolkit provides guides, templates, and tools for starting a business and growing sustainably.
- Entrepreneur provides business info, articles, and business forms and templates.
The State of Alaska
The State's Business website is a wealth of information on starting a business in Alaska. Their publication, "Establishing a Business in Alaska," provides detailed information and assistance for the Alaskan entrepreneur.
Entrepreneur/Business Language Resources:
Venturize is a program from the Opportunity Finance Network, a nonprofit membership organization whose members have decades of experience working with young businesses. This site helps compare different types of lenders and financing opportunities.
Funding Opportunity Links:
- Spruce Root's Path to Prosperity Business Development Competition
- Learn the basics for building a budget for your business.
- Take a short, self-paced training exercise as an introduction to financing your business.
- Analyzing financial ratios: https://www.bbt.com/business/small-business-resource-center/growing-a-business/financial-ratios.page
- Financial calculators:
- Learn how to choose an accountant who is also an advisor.
- Investors’ Circle seeks early-stage companies whose businesses address significant social or environmental issues.
Duke University's, "The Meaning of "Social Entrepreneurship," provides a brief history of social entrepreneurship.
Triple Bottom Line: Profit, People, and Planet
- "The Triple Bottom Line," published by the University of Wisconsin.
- Sustainability Illustrated's series of short videos gives a nice overview of triple bottom line concepts and makes a strong business case for sustainability.
- A brief history can be found in the article, "Triple Bottom Line," from The Economist.
- Information about calculating the Triple bottom line can be found in this article published by the Indiana Business Review.