Funding is the act of providing resources, usually in form of money (financing), or other values such as effort or time (sweat equity), for a project, a person, a business, or any other private or public institutions. The process of soliciting and gathering fund is known as fundraising.
Sources of funding include credit, venture capital, donations, grants, savings, subsidies, and taxes. Fundings such as donations, subsidies, and grants that have no direct requirement for return of investment are described as "soft funding" or "crowdfunding". Funding that facilitates the exchange of equity ownership in a company for capital investment via an online funding portal as per the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (alternately, the "JOBS Act of 2012") (U.S.) is known as equity crowdfunding.
Funds can be allocated for either short-term or long-term purposes.
In economics funds are injected into the market as capital by lenders and taken as loans by borrowers. There are two ways in which the capital can end up at the borrower. The lender can lend the capital to a financial intermediary against interest. These financial intermediaries then reinvest the money against a higher rate. The use of financial intermediaries to finance operations is called indirect finance. Lender can also go the financial markets to directly lend to a borrower. This method is called direct finance.
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- Foundation (non-profit)
- Peer-to-peer lending
- Research funding
- Seed money
- Micro finance
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