The bonds will pay a fixed rate of five percent and protected by a provision fund. Investors can access their funds for a one percent fee.
The initial opportunity is only available to military members, veterans and their families, who can invest up to $1,000 each. Their funds back loans to small businesses of the owner’s choosing.
“Marketplace lending to small businesses has been limited to wealthy individuals and institutional investors,” StreetShares CEO Mark L. Rockefeller said. “We wanted to create a simple product to allow all Americans to earn solid returns while supporting small businesses they believe in.”
Mr. Rockefeller and partner Mickey Konson are both military veterans. They founded StreetShares on the premise of reducing risk through social loyalty, a concept they term affinity-based lending. On StreetShares it manifests in ways such as investors who are military veterans backing businesses owned by fellow veterans.
StreetShares has partnered with more than 3o veterans organizations to reach veteran entrepreneurs. The strategy has worked, as more than 60 percent of StreetShares loans are made to veterans.