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This Entrepreneur Is Proving That a Zero-Interest Loan Platform Can Work Check out what's taking crowdfunding to a new level.

By Michelle Goodman

This story appears in the June 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

José Mandojana
Square deals: Community Sourced Capital’s Rachel Maxwell.

Rachel Maxwell's path to financing entrepreneurs wasn't an obvious one. Before receiving her MBA in 2012, she worked in international climate policy while running an analytics and market research firm with her husband. But her data-crunching background and interest in sustainable energy soon led her to pursue sustainable business financing solutions for local communities.

"What I figured out was that we really needed a distributed economic system, much like we needed a distributed energy grid," says Seattle-based Maxwell. A year spent researching the topic led to Community Sourced Capital, a zero-interest crowdfunding platform for community-based ventures. To ensure that future directors, advisors and investors would honor the mission, CSC became a certified B Corporation and a registered Social Purpose Corporation, a Washington state business designation.

"Everybody said to us, "No one will do this,'" says Maxwell, who serves as CEO. But she is proving them wrong. "Most of the [lenders] do know and live within a few miles of the businesses they support. What we found is that people will make zero-interest loans if they're connected to the business or the community that is being improved by the loan."

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