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New social-lending marketplace for veterans launched

Working with The American Legion and other organizations, StreetShares, Inc. has launched a new online social-lending marketplace, Veterans Business Campaign. StreetShares.com provides a new way for small business owners to get commercial loans, funded by the direct investments of individuals through an interactive auction.

The veterans campaign will aim to help military veteran small business owners obtain commercial loans through the StreetShares marketplace. The opportunity to tell their story directly to investors is especially helpful to veterans, who often face unique challenges when attempting to obtain a small business loan from traditional banks.

"Every veteran small business owner deserves the opportunity to have their story heard and considered by real investors, rather than a big bank that simply assigns them a number, then stamps rejected,” said StreetShares CEO Mark L. Rockefeller.

StreetShares allows small businesses to pitch directly to investors, share their personal story, information about their business, and the purpose of the loan. Investor members on StreetShares then bid, in an online auction. Individual investors set both the interest rate they would require in order to back the loan, and the portion of the overall loan they want to provide. The lowest bids are combined into a single loan for the small business owner. StreetShares itself underwrites the application, verifies key information, and co-invests in the loans.

“StreetShares is about giving small business owners access to a new and direct form of funding," Rockefeller said, “and about giving Americans an opportunity to invest in our veterans in a real and tangible way."

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