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Google and Amazon could shake up the small business lending market and dislocate banks as entrepreneurs’ primary funding resource, according to a discussion led by Karen Mills, Harvard Business School Fellow and former White House administrator for small businesses, at LendIt Europe 2017.
“If you look at the small business hierarchy needs, they need access to cash, funds, they need time, and they need more sales,” said Mills. “And what if you were able to provide an efficient system that gave them more time to do all their work, access to capital and something that boosts their sales line? You could see how that player could win over a traditional player or even a new fintech.”
In 2017, Amazon has lent over $1 billion to small businesses through its website and as of June 2017, $3 billion to assist small businesses expand inventory and products. Mills predicts that Google could soon follow alongside Amazon in impacting the small business lending market.
This development and those expected to follow have the potential to disrupt traditional bank lending, but they are welcome news for the 30 million American small businesses, 80 percent of which employ no one other than the owner.
A new avenue for accessing capital could be the helping hand millions of small business owners need to open their doors and keep them that way. Google and Amazon’s insight into consumer preferences and habits may prove an advantage helping tip the small business scale in their favor.