Invest and do good

Invest and do good

Disclosure-The investments or services suggested may not be suitable for all investors and is not to be considered investment advice or a recommendation. Consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions


While I definitely hope to make more money from my investments, I also want my investments to be a power for good. If you are like me and want to be more purposeful and impactful with your investment monies, you may still feel frustrated with your ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) investment choices.  The Small Bonds Marketplace (SMBX, LLC) offers a way for everyday investors to help small businesses raise capital outside of traditional banking sources.

These are unregistered securities unlike the securities registered and overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which you see on the stock market.  Instead, they offer another avenue of investment, but they are not required to have the same level of disclosure and oversight as SEC registered securities.  Unregistered securities are viewed as inherently riskier and until recently, were not open to everyday investors.  Before the 2012 JOBS Act, one must be an Accredited Investor for hedge funds, angel investments, venture capital, and other high risk, but potentially high reward unregistered securities.  Accredited Investors must demonstrate a higher level of financial sophistication through having over a $1million net worth, high income, and other professional qualifications.

Now has the everyday investor (non-Accredited) been allowed to take on a bit more risk.  The 2012 JOBS Act, Title III, authorized the creation of “funding portals” whereby un-accredited individuals can invest in qualified small/medium unregistered securities.  Un-accredited investors are still restricted by investment limits based on their annual income per SEC regulations.  SMBX is a funding portal for small business bonds.  Bonds are offered starting at $10 (in $10 increments) with a fixed interest rate.

Within the Small Bonds Marketplace investors can choose to support small businesses which have faced barriers to traditional funding sources.  In fact, the city of Washington, DC has recently announced their partnership with SMBX to launch the DC Rebuild Bond Program.  The DC Rebuild Bond Program will allow local businesses to obtain funding and grow without having to qualify for bank loans.

The Small Bonds Marketplace currently has bond offerings ranging from specialty restaurants to micro-breweries, to small construction companies to a female-veteran owned umbrella entrepreneur.  These small businesses are located throughout the US from Oregon to NYC to Colorado to Pennsylvania to Florida.

Check out for more information about how you can invest money and advocate for small businesses at the same time.

Meggan Orenstein
Meggan Orenstein

Meggan is an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) and joined MainStreet Financial Planning as a ParaPlanner in 2021. She has worked in the financial industry for over 10 years in numerous roles in the areas of personal finances, tax preparation, credit and debt improvement, retirement planning (including the Thrift Savings Plan), family readiness/resiliency, and personal counseling. Success for her clients is achieved when she distills and effectively communicates complicated financial topics which leads to their greater understanding, personal confidence and goal achievement. Meggan has led numerous financial education and financial counseling efforts by partnering with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, Virginia Cooperative Extension, the military Transition Assistance Program at Fort Belvoir, and northern Virginia nonprofits. By employing the same goal planning and resiliency techniques she teaches others, Meggan and her husband enjoy a semi-nomadic, pre-retirement lifestyle.

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