5 Important Tips For Small Business Financing That Banks Won’t Tell You

Sovannarith Chea

The article explores avenues for obtaining funds for small businesses in Cambodia, uncovering many strategies that conventional banks might not emphasize. It discusses five important steps, including utilizing specialized funding sources like those provided by ADA Cambodia, creating comprehensive business plans, understanding multiple ways to demonstrate repayment ability, fostering professional relationships, and identifying hidden financial considerations. Supported by inspiring stories, such as the experiences of a bakery and a group of artisans, the article underscores the impact of these strategies in securing funds. It aims to guide aspiring entrepreneurs in Cambodia toward smarter approaches to growing their businesses and making meaningful changes that contribute positively to their ventures.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Tips to Help Small Business to Find Financing

Entrepreneurship in Cambodia is both thrilling and challenging. Securing sufficient financing often helps small business owners. In Cambodia, around 66% of enterprises stated that access to finance is still challenging and the main challenge of SMEs is the access to working capital. While banks offer guidance, there’s a wealth of undisclosed information important for success. This guide reveals hidden strategies essential for small business financing in Cambodia. Beyond conventional advice, we’ll cover alternative financing and real-world insights important for navigating the Cambodian business landscape.

Join us as we explore five essential tips—secrets often kept by banks but important for your business’s success. Get ready to discover unconventional funding sources and empower your business. Are you prepared to explore small business financing? Let’s begin this enlightening journey together.

Understanding Small Business Financing Before Fund Your Business

Small business financing is the lifeblood of emerging entrepreneurs in Cambodia. Banks typically offer advice that centers around traditional loan options, but they often keep alternative avenues that could be a game-changer for businesses.

Small Business Financing

What Banks Usually Disclose

When you walk into a bank seeking small business financing, they’ll likely pitch you the standard offerings: loans, business credit, personal credit, business credit card, and perhaps advice on building a solid credit history. While these options are important, banks often limit their advice to these conventional routes, leaving many business owners unaware of the broader landscape of financing.

Understanding the basics of loans and credit is essential, but it’s only part of the puzzle. There’s a whole world of alternative small business financing options and hidden criteria that banks don’t highlight.

What Banks Won’t Tell You

Take ADA Cambodia, a famous loan provider in Cambodia, as an example. While traditional banks might not vocalize this, ADA Cambodia offers business loans and customized the best small business loans specifically for small businesses. These loans are flexible, come with reasonable interest rates, and often meet those who lack collateral or a strong credit history—something conventional banks might overlook.

While banks focus on their tried-and-tested loan models, they often ignore these alternative options that could be a lifeline for startups and small businesses in Cambodia. Understanding small business financing involves more than just attractive advertisements and bank presentations. It’s about uncovering the lesser-known aspects of small business financing and exploring new opportunities that could help your business grow.

Stay tuned as we go deeper into these unconventional avenues, uncovering more tips and tricks to help you secure the funding your business deserves without relying solely on traditional banking advice.

Types of Financing Options for Small Businesses in 2023

Before covering the strategies and tips for small business financing in Cambodia, it’s time to explore the multiple landscape of small business financing options available to small business owners.

Each avenue bears its advantages and considerations, to meet different business needs and financial circumstances. Understanding these multiple financing routes is key to making informed decisions that align with your business goals.

Traditional Bank Loans

Traditional business bank loans are often the initial consideration for entrepreneurs seeking small business financing. While accessible, they may come with strict criteria when applying for a business loan because they demand collateral and a strong credit history. The Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia Plc. has disbursed more than $200 million in loans to at least 2,500 SMEs to help them expand their businesses. However, for many startups and small businesses, these requirements can pose significant barriers.

Traditional Bank Loans

Government Programs and Grants

Exploring governmental aid and small business grants customized for small businesses is a way less traveled. Many Cambodian government programs offer financial support, mentorship, and resources to encourage entrepreneurship and business growth. Understanding and tapping into these initiatives can be a game-changer.

Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists

Seeking investment from angel investors or venture capitalists is a good option for business owners because investors can infuse capital into your business without the traditional loan structure. These investors often bring expertise and connections, providing more than just funds.

Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists

Trade Credit and Supplier Financing

Exploring trade credit with suppliers allows businesses to acquire goods or services with deferred payment terms. This form of financing can aid in managing cash flow and building relationships with suppliers.

Equipment Financing and Leasing

For businesses requiring specific equipment, leasing or financing options are available. These arrangements can alleviate the initial financial strain of purchasing equipment outright.

Each of these small business financing options presents business owners in Cambodia with a unique route to acquire essential capital for their businesses. Understanding the advantages and challenges associated with each avenue is important in determining the most suitable financial strategy to fuel business growth and success.

Tip 1: Alternative Financing Options (Get a Small Business Loan and Crowdfunding)

Exploring Non-Traditional Avenues

In the world of small business financing, thinking outside the box is often the key to success. Alternative financing options offer innovative routes for entrepreneurs to secure the necessary capital, sometimes bypassing the limitations posed by traditional bank loans.

Small Business Loans from ADA Cambodia

ADA Cambodia specializes in providing loan offers to get the best possible result including term loans, startup business loans and types of business loans explicitly designed for small businesses. These loans offer flexible terms and reasonable interest rates than other business loan providers, serving entrepreneurs who may not meet the criteria set by traditional banks. ADA Cambodia’s approach exemplifies an alternative route for securing financing customized to the needs of Cambodian entrepreneurs. If you are interested in getting a startup business loan or small business financing, kindly contact the financial advisor ADA Cambodia to get more information.

Small Business Loans from ADA Cambodia


Some of the people who have ownership in the business may consider debt financing including loans for your business are the best options for small business administration and business development.  However, equity financing like crowdfunding platforms enables business owners to present their business ideas to a wide audience and garner financial support from backers across the world instead of getting a business loan. These platforms empower businesses to raise capital without the involvement of traditional financial institutions.


Alternative financing options introduce a fresh perspective, offering avenues that traditional banks often neglect to mention. Crowdfunding and specialized loans from organizations like ADA Cambodia provide business owners in Cambodia with multiple and accessible ways to secure the funding vital for business growth.

Tip 2: Building a Strong Business Plan

The Power of a Comprehensive Plan

In the world of small business financing, a good and strong business plan serves as a key player. Banks often emphasize the importance of a business plan, but the depth and specifics they overlook could significantly impact your financing prospects.

The Traditional Banking Perspective

Banks routinely stress the necessity of a business plan to qualify for traditional financing. They often look for financial projections, market analysis, and revenue forecasts. While these parts are important, the usual rules might not cover all of a business’s possibilities, especially for businesses trying to do something new or have a big effect on society.

Hidden Criteria and Overlooked Elements

What banks often overlook are the meticulous aspects that define modern businesses in Cambodia. Factors like social impact initiatives, community engagement strategies, or innovative approaches might not align with traditional banking assessments. However, these elements can be instrumental, particularly for startups or businesses focused on creating a unique niche or addressing social needs within the Cambodian market.

Crafting a Comprehensive Business Plan

Understanding the difference between what banks prioritize and the unspoken criteria they overlook is pivotal for entrepreneurs. Crafting a comprehensive business plan encompassing both conventional and unconventional financial projections can significantly enhance your prospects for obtaining small business financing.

The essence of tip 2 lies in understanding that a business plan is not merely a formality but a strategic document that communicates your business’s vision, potential, and impact. By understanding the elements often overlooked by banks, business owners can craft a comprehensive blueprint that resonates with the evolving landscape of the Cambodian business ecosystem.

Tip 3: Leveraging Credit Scores and Reports

The Weight of Credit History

In small business financing, credit scores and reports play a pivotal role in determining an entrepreneur’s creditworthiness. Banks often emphasize the importance of a strong credit history, but the alternative metrics that hold significance might not always be communicated effectively.

The Banking Perspective

Traditional banks heavily rely on credit scores and reports as primary indicators of an individual’s or a business’s financial health. A strong credit history, punctual bill payments, and minimal outstanding debts are typically highlighted as essential factors for securing loans or business lines of credit.

Enhancing Your Creditworthiness

While a solid credit history undoubtedly boosts your chances of obtaining small business financing, other metrics and alternative indicators often overlooked by banks can be equally influential. For instance, in Cambodia, where formal banking history might be limited for certain individuals or businesses, showcasing consistent revenue streams, client relationships, or business assets can serve as strong indicators of financial stability.

Enhancing Your Creditworthiness

Alternative Metrics That Matter

Recognizing the broader aspects of financial reliability apart from just traditional credit scores is critical. Emphasizing elements like consistent revenue generation, long-standing client relationships, or tangible assets can provide a more holistic view of a business’s financial standing, particularly in contexts where conventional credit history might not fully represent the business’s potential.

Tip 3 focuses on the importance of not only maintaining a strong credit history but also highlighting alternative metrics that demonstrate financial stability and reliability. By understanding and leveraging these alternative indicators, business owners in Cambodia can maximize their financial health and present a more comprehensive picture of their creditworthiness to potential financiers.

Tip 4: Networking and Relationships

The Role of Connections in Financing

In the landscape of small business financing, the power of connections and relationships often proves to be a hidden gem. While banks may not explicitly mention the significance of networks, fostering relationships can significantly impact accessing funding opportunities.

Apart from Banking Transactions

Establishing meaningful connections involves more than just traditional banking transactions. Establishing strong relationships with industry peers, mentors, investors, and even local community leaders can open doors to potential funding sources, advice, and opportunities not readily available through conventional banking channels.

Leveraging Networks for Support

Networking and relationships provide entrepreneurs in Cambodia with more than just financial benefits. They offer a support system—a platform for sharing experiences, gaining insights, and accessing resources that traditional banking advice might not offer.

Tip 4 emphasizes the value of cultivating strong connections and fostering relationships within the Cambodian business community. While banks focus on financial aspects, nurturing networks enables entrepreneurs to access a wealth of knowledge, guidance, and potential funding sources outside the traditional banking sphere.

Tip 5: Understanding Hidden Costs and Risks

Unseen Charges and Fees

Understanding the terms and uncovering hidden costs and fees is important in small business financing. While banks might highlight interest rates and principal amounts, there are often underlying charges that can significantly impact the actual cost of borrowing.

Unseen Charges and Fees

The Unspoken Risks

Unseen risks beyond the visible costs might affect a business’s financial health. While interest rates and principal amounts are apparent, factors such as fluctuating rates, penalties for early repayments, processing fees, or administrative costs might not be overtly disclosed. However, they can considerably impact the effective cost of borrowing.

Safeguarding Financial Stability

Tip 5 advocates for a cautious approach—observing loan terms and conditions. By comprehensively understanding the complexity of loan agreements, business owners can safeguard their businesses against potential financial traps. This careful examination empowers them to make informed decisions and averts unexpected financial burdens that could impede business growth.

An Overall Financial Assessment

Emphasizes the importance of conducting an overall assessment of small business financing options. It goes deeper than surface-level evaluation and encourages entrepreneurs to focus on substantive details. Understanding the entirety of the costs involved, including the hidden fees and potential risks, enables entrepreneurs to chart a more secure and strategic financial way.

By revealing the often neglected aspects of small business financing, tip 5 aims to empower entrepreneurs in Cambodia to approach borrowing with a discerning eye. It emphasizes the necessity of meticulous examination, proactive risk management, and a comprehensive understanding of loan terms—tools that can help entrepreneurs make informed and financially cautious decisions in the Cambodian business landscape.

Success Stories with Small Business Financing Options

Sophia’s Bakery Apply For an Online Loan from Small Business Lender

Sophia, a minimum of at least two years in business in Phnom Penh, dreamed of expanding her bakery business but faced difficulties due to limited access to capital. Traditional banks were unwilling due to her lack of collateral. However, with the support of a best business loan from ADA Cambodia, Sophia was able to purchase new baking equipment and expand her product line. Today, her bakery is thriving, serving the local community and creating job opportunities.

Empowering Artisans in Cambodia with Funding Option

A group of skilled artisans in a rural Cambodian village desired to preserve their traditional weaving techniques but lacked funds to procure raw materials. Through a crowdfunding campaign on a local platform, they successfully raised capital to purchase looms and materials. With the backing of their community and online supporters, the weaving collective not only sustained their craft but also gained global recognition for their unique textiles.

Catalyzing Agricultural Advancements from Business Funding Options

A team of young tech enthusiasts aimed to develop a mobile app for Cambodian farmers searching for small business financing. Traditional loan providers were skeptical of their innovative ideas although they are qualified for a business loan. Turning to ADA Cambodia, they secured funding to develop the app. Today, their app provides important agricultural information, benefiting farmers across Cambodia and revolutionizing agricultural practices.

These success stories exemplify the transformative power of alternative financing sources and innovative approaches to small business financing in Cambodia. Entrepreneurs leveraging loans, crowdfunding, and capital support have not only realized their dreams but also significantly contributed to local economies and societal development.


Navigating the world of small business financing in Cambodia reveals a landscape rich with different opportunities often unseen in traditional banking advice. Exploring alternative financing options like different types of small business loans from ADA Cambodia, crowdfunding, and the power of networking showcased how this unconventional route can be pivotal for entrepreneurs.

The success stories of determined individuals, from Sophia’s Bakery to the weaving collective and tech innovators, tell the transformative impact of strategic financing, emphasizing innovation, resilience, and the potential to forge meaningful connections. Armed with insights into hidden costs, multiple credit metrics, and the importance of comprehensive business plans, entrepreneurs are poised to leverage this knowledge, empowering themselves to drive their ventures toward growth, impact, and success in Cambodia’s business environment. If you are considering a small business loan to start a business or as a control of your business, you may contact ADA Cambodia for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is finance in a small business?

Finance in a small business refers to managing funds for daily operations, growth, and stability. ADA Cambodia offers customized financial products like microloans to support Cambodian entrepreneurs’ unique needs.

How to apply for a loan?

To apply for an ADA Cambodia loan, visit a local branch or their online platform, fill out an application form detailing business information, financial status, and intended use of funds. Once evaluated and approved, funds are disbursed to support business goals.

What is the first step of the borrowing process?

The initial step is understanding the business’s financial needs, determining the loan amount required, outlining its intended usage, and preparing the necessary documentation for a streamlined application with ADA Cambodia.

Want more knowledge about Loans? Check out our list of loan tips now!

About Sovannarith Chea

Sovannarith Chea, with over eight years in the loan business, is a trusted financial advisor in Cambodia. His expertise at ADA Cambodia has empowered many individuals to overcome financial hurdles. Sovannarith's personalized approach ensures that financial solutions are tailored to each client's unique circumstances, making dreams more attainable for the community he serves. Connect with Sovannarith at ADA Cambodia and take a step towards financial stability.

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