The advantage of equity finance for a company – raising money by selling shares – is that this money does not have to be repaid. However, new shareholders usually get to have a say in how the company is run. Despite these rights, equity is often seen as a risky choice for investors as they will lose all their money if the company doesn’t prosper. If it does well, on the other hand, they may see their stake multiply in value many times over.
Debt finance – money raised through loans – must be repaid eventually by a company, usually with interest, but lenders won’t be able to exert as much influence as shareholders over how the company does business. The debt of a reliable company is usually seen as a safe investment, but fixed repayment schedules means that there are few opportunities for large returns.