This subject was mentioned on a business radio show just yesterday (their website is barryandkim.com , I think). Almost all small non secured small biz loans are now via cash advance on a credit card. It costs as much in labor and administration for a bank to originate a $20,000 loan as a $250,000 loan, so banks avoid small loans, with the possible exception of credit unions. If you follow previously posted advice and start with all used stuff, I don't see how you can't get started for under $20k. I hear of folks starting for less with a rented truck. This is the time of year where the ice cream truck guys are looking to rent trucks. Why not work for one of those guys this summer, and get some self employed experience???