Learn about various options to fund your business, tools to manage finances effectively, and ways to get the legal advice you need for your startup.

For many entrepreneurs, learning how to access capital for their business is a key concern. There are many ways entrepreneurs can fund their business if they need extra cash, ranging from loans to crowdfunding. On top of that, knowing how to manage money is a key part of business success. Also, you may need basic legal assistance when building a company. This page explores some of the options for funding, tools for effective financial management, and resources for legal help.

Business Funding Options

Consider these ways to raise money for your business or start up, and determine which options might be the best fit for your goals.

sba logo
U.S. SBA Funding Programs

The Small Business Administration offers customized information and guidance for entrepreneurs seeking funding, including specialized loans and grants.

Learn More


angel capital association logo
Angel Investors

Angel investors are individuals or small groups that provide relatively modest amounts of capital to entrepreneurs in return for equity. Learn more about angel investors and how to identify if they are right for your business.

Learn More


national venture capital association logo
Venture Capital

Venture capital, often called “VC", is a type of funding that firms may provide to companies with high-growth potential in exchange for equity. There are many types of venture capital firms, often focusing on specific industries.

Learn More


kickstarter logo
RISD Kickstarter

RISD students, alumni & current faculty with an entrepreneurial project can use the RISD Curated Kickstarter page to raise funds for their ideas. Over $6,000,000 has been raised for RISD projects on the platform, including ideas across fine arts and design.

Learn More


Financial Management Resources

These tools and resources can provide guidance for managing business finances. If you need additional assistance, consider consulting with an accountant.

quickbooks logo
QuickBooks Resource Center

This platform provides comprehensive guides and tools for freelancers and small businesses to manage their finances with effectiveness.

Learn More

irs logo
IRS Record Keeping Guide

Knowing how to keep and manage financial records is an essential element for entrepreneurs. This guide from the IRS explains how to effectively track these details.

Learn More

CERF+ Logo
CERF+ Artist Business Insurance Hub

This guide helps you understand the need to have business insurance for your creative practice as well as provides insurance plans ideal for many creative businesses.

Learn More

RISD Alumni Insurance Discounts

The RISD Alumni Insurance Program offers a wide array of insurance products at advantageous pricing and is part of a growing list of initiatives that provide you with valuable benefits. Explore the offerings to see if any make sense for you and your business.

Learn More

Resources for Learning Legal Issues

These resources help you to understand key issues related to intellectual property that artists and designers typically encounter.

copyright logo
Understanding Copyright

The U.S. Copyright office provides a comprehensive overview of copyright law and answers to common FAQ’s.

Learn More

uspto logo
Understanding Patents

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offers a basic overview on patents and the process for applying.

Learn More

Legal Resources

These tools and resources provide you with necessary legal documents and connect you with best fit legal advice for entrepreneurs and start ups.

Greg Kanaan
The Legal Artist

Attorney and RISD alumnus Greg Kanaan 02 FAV is the founder of The Legal Artist, a business that provides legal advice for artists, designers, and creators of all kinds. 

Learn More


attorneys at a start up clinic
National Start Up Clinics

Law schools across the country offer pro bono (free) assistance to entrepreneurs on issues ranging from incorporation, trademarks, patents, and more.

Learn More


vla logo
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

The VLA provides a broad range of free and low-cost legal services and educational programs addressing the needs of artists, designers, small creative businesses, and cultural organizations.

Learn More