Meet the small biz loan matchmakers

November 10, 2011: 9:39 AM ET

The climate for small business lending over the past few years has been dark to say the least, opening a door to entrepreneurs who pair business owners with interested lenders.

By Elaine Pofeldt, contributorbusinessmen_making_connections

FORTUNE -- For many entrepreneurs, growing a business over the past few years has come to feel like an endless, and fruitless, quest. Not so for Brock Blake. Five years ago, the 30-year-old entrepreneur founded Lendio, an online matchmaker that pairs loan-hungry entrepreneurs with banks, credit unions, and other lenders.

Lendio, which specializes in loans that range from $5,000 to $1 million, brought in about $8.6 million in revenue in 2010, according to Blake. Borrowers do not have to pay Lendio to search for a lender, but the company collects a payment from lenders when it makes a successful match. Since March, the company, based in South Jordan, Utah, says it has received 3,000 loan requests through its system and has achieved a loan approval rate of 50 to 70%.

"Our focus is to provide business owners as many options as are out there to help them get the loan they need," says Blake.

With many small business owners still struggling to get loans from their banks in the wake of the financial crisis, several companies have spotted the opportunity to act as matchmaker. In addition to Lendio, web-based companies such as Biz2Credit, Boefly, and FastPay are competing to pair entrepreneurs with financing sources across the country. More

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