Jamaica Stock Exchange launches project to assist social enterprises

The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) has launched a US$910,000 three-year ‘Innovating Social Sector Financing’ project, which is designed to develop a platform for social enterprises seeking funding to execute their engagements.

Some 150 social service groups islandwide, including churches, foundations, non-governmental organisations and social enterprises, many of which are headed by women, as well as 10,000 poor and vulnerable people, are expected to benefit from the undertaking.

The initiative, which was officially launched at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston today, is being facilitated under a Technical Cooperation Agreement that was signed in December 2019 by the JSE and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which is providing US$420,000 of the financing. The remaining sum is being provided by the JSE.

Under the project, an ecosystem will be developed to assist social-sector organisations to raise capital and resources to finance and bring projects tailored for the society’s needy to fruition, via the JSE’s Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) platform.

Speaking at the launch, JSE Managing Director, Marlene Street Forrest, said the project will assist in ensuring that the JSSE provides a conduit through which innovative capital can be sought, financed and disbursed to target beneficiaries.

“The project aims to arm us with empirical data, proper matrix and robust platforms and programmes… so that we provide access [and] are also able to make informed decisions to ensure [the] overall growth, prosperity and sustainable development of Jamaica,” she explained.

Among the organisations whose projects have been selected for funding via the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange are the Agency for Inner City Renewal (AIR), the Alpha Institute, Choose Life International, Deaf Can!, and Spring Praise Jamaica.

Additionally, two COVID-19 special projects – Teen Challenge Jamaica and Mona Tech Engineering Services – have been selected.

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