StreetShares Blog | The Center for Veteran Small Businesses

Why The Military Is The Best Entrepreneurship Training Program In America

Posted by Mark L. Rockefeller, Co-Founder & CEO on Sep 28, 2016 8:14:00 AM


This story was originally posted in Forbes on August 3, 2016.

One organization has produced more business owners than any other single institution in the nation.

It has a proven track record of teaching leadership, strategic planning, creative problem-solving, task execution, and resiliency—all traits essential to business ownership. It is not a fancy MBA or university program.

The organization is the United States military.

For many years, military veterans have become entrepreneurs at a much higher rate than non-veterans. Indeed, a shocking 49% of World War II veterans went on to own or operate their own businesses, according to a study from Syracuse University.

In the modern era, an exciting veterans’ entrepreneurship movement is once again spreading across America. These so-called “vetrepreneurs” are thriving. They have their own accelerators and incubators, their own venture capitalists, their own support organizations and coaches, and even their own Shark Tank stars (shout out to Navy SEAL-led Bottle Breacher and Army Ranger-led Combat Flip Flops).

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Topics: small business loan, Veteran Entrepreneur

Combat Flip Flops – Creating Peace through Trade [VETREPRENEUR]

Posted by StreetShares on Sep 23, 2016 2:42:41 PM

Veteran small businesses make up approximately 2.4 million U.S. businesses or 9 percent of all American firms, according to, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Veterans have built a set of specialized leadership skills and work ethic that makes them successful business owners. Indeed, it’s not only about what veterans did while on duty, but also what they do when they come back home. And transitioning back to civilian life can be one of the hardest times. This is why entrepreneurship is usually a great fit for many.

Today, we would like to tell you the story of a Veteran entrepreneur and his ecommerce company, Combat Flip Flops. Meet Matthew “Griff” Griffin, former Army Ranger of the 75th Ranger Regiment. His experiences in Afghanistan, both from his time in the U.S. Army and his later return with a medical service and rescue company, led him to create his own business. Combat Flip Flops creates products that empower consumers to promote peace through trade by manufacturing footwear, apparel and accessories from war-torn countries.

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Topics: Entrepreneurship, small business loan, Vetrepreneur

5 Lessons from Investment Crowdfunding’s Cousin – Peer-to-Peer Lending

Posted by Mark L. Rockefeller, Co-Founder & CEO on Sep 22, 2016 6:42:22 PM

When I was a kid, I had an older cousin. I looked up to her. She was cool, and she could do things I couldn’t do. I learned by watching her.

Investment crowdfunding has an older cousin, too. Her name is peer-to-peer lending. And she has a few lessons for the emerging investment crowdfunding industry.  

Lesson 1: If You’re Solving a Market Need, Everything Else Will Work Out

JOBS Act Title III investment crowdfunding went live just a few months ago. Already some are trumpeting its death. One example is a TechCrunch article "Equity Crowdfunding is Dead” by contributor Ryan Caldbeck.

To channel Mark Twain: reports of crowdfunding’s death are greatly exaggerated.

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Topics: crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending

Trading Futures: Why I Left Wall Street for StreetShares

Posted by Andrew Tener, Director of Qualitative Analytics on Jul 7, 2016 12:35:38 AM

Floor twenty; floor ten; ground level; air; sunlight.  My friend, Will, was waiting for me in a nearby park.

“Did you do it?” he asked.

“Yeah, I really did.”

“Well, what are you going to do now?”

“I don’t know—lunch maybe? Want to go to Ippudo?”

It was strange to walk out of that building for the last time. Don’t misunderstand me.  I liked the traders I worked with. They were good people. My managing director was thoughtful. During our final conversation, he gave me sincere advice, the same that Stanford gives to students at every speech from convocation to graduation:

“Do what you love.”

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Topics: Featured, Small Business Resources

32 iPhone Apps to Run Your Small Business

Posted by Peter Somerville, Director of Investor Relations on Jun 17, 2016 10:29:08 AM

The pace of small business has never been more relentless. The good news is that you have a whole toolbox in your pocket: your iPhone. Here are 32 apps I use every week in my work at StreetShares.

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Topics: Small Business Resources

“Think Before you Ink” Your Loan  

Posted by Madhur Grover, Chief Credit Officer on Jun 13, 2016 3:48:53 PM


As a small business owner, working capital is your lifeblood. Cash-flow management is crucial to your success, which sometimes means you need to take out a small business loan to keep the gears of your business moving. Equipment replacement, new hires, scaling your business or getting ready for a big contract are all good reasons to start looking for a loan. There are lots of funding options out there—which is both a good and a bad thing for you. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the emails, phone calls, letters and ads from lenders. Each lender promises you the best rate, best amount, best approval rate, and awesome customer reviews!

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Topics: Small Business Resources

3 Simple Ways Business Owners Can Celebrate Memorial Day

Posted by Mark L. Rockefeller, Co-Founder & CEO on May 27, 2016 5:52:07 PM

By Mark L. Rockefeller, CEO, StreetShares

How do you observe a holiday that is both solemn and celebratory?

Most of us know Memorial Day is more than a day off to barbecue.

Many of us know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day (hint: Memorial Day is next Monday and remembers those who have died in military service; Veterans’ Day is in November and celebrates all veterans).

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Topics: Veteran Entrepreneurship, Small Business Resources, Veteran Resources

Why Military Veterans Should Become Entrepreneurs

Posted by Mark L. Rockefeller, Co-Founder & CEO on May 18, 2016 11:13:00 AM

I’m one of the 2.5 million veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. I’m also an entrepreneur. And I’m not alone. The men and women of today’s armed services are uniquely positioned to become successful entrepreneurs.

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Topics: Veteran Entrepreneurship, Featured

What Is Your Marketing Equation?

Posted by Tom Boettner, Director of Marketing on May 12, 2016 5:08:49 PM
Is your marketing focused on branding or lead generation?

- Ganesh Tayi, President of BizBeacon

The objective of your marketing is to organize the buying and selling processes to present compelling information that persuades your prospects to take a specific action. Your marketing should inform and persuade your prospects, address the wants and needs of prospects so that they continue to move through their various decision-making stages. Your marketing message must do 3 things:

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Topics: Small Business Resources

StreetShares gives military spouses free investment bonds to celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Posted by Tom Boettner, Director of Marketing on May 5, 2016 11:55:34 AM

What: StreetShares is America's small business funding community with a particular focus on funding Veteran owned small businesses. To honor Military Spouse Appreciation Day, StreetShares is offering a special opportunity for military spouses to invest in Veteran owned small business for free. For the first 200 military spouses who sign up to become a member, StreetShares will issue a  $25 Veteran Business Bond that will immediately go to work, earning a fixed 5% return while funding Veteran entrepreneurship. In addition, military spouses and all StreetShares members receive a $250 account bonus for each and every small business borrower they refer who accepts a StreetShares loan.

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Topics: Small Business Resources


StreetShares helps fund veteran small businesses quickly and affordably through its fast-growing group of investors who support the veteran community.



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