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Over the past two decades, access to capital for emerging growth and middle-market companies has vacillated based on the ebb and flow of the broad stock market and the liquidity and tightness of the credit markets. Even through the boom and bust of the Internet, availability was not constrained as it has been for the past nine months. As we update this second edition of the Handbook of Financing Growth, we are experiencing a period of financial challenge not seen since the Great Depression . . . and while there is arguably the greatest amount of capital ever focused on emerging growth and middle-market companies, literally hundreds of billions of dollars, the hurdles to accessing this capital have never been higher.

The difference today is one of gaining access, not just one of getting a better deal or better terms. This applies to both debt and equity from a wide range of sources: from commercial banks to asset-based lenders to specialty finance companies; from growth equity investors to venture capitalists to strategic partners.

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