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STEWARD: Crowdfunding for Sustainable Farming

Source: Lancaster Farming 8_19_23

Entrepreneur Dan Miller has created an online platform called Steward where anyone with as little as $100 can help fund an interest-bearing loan to a sustainable farmer.

Investors buy part of a secured loan from Steward to help fund a specific project — return varies from about 5% to 8% over three to seven years — or put money into Steward Regenerative Capital, a fund for short-term bridge loans.

Only farmers who have been in business for at least three years are eligible. They must also have securable assets.

Once a farmer fills out an application, Steward’s team gets to work evaluating whether a good fit exists, not just in terms of a solid business plan but to determine if the farm is in line with Steward’s mission and values. Caps on loans, which range from thousands to millions of dollars, are intended to allow for more participation.

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