UK Social Stock Exchange Expansion
24 September 2014 at 10:21 am
The UK’s Social Stock Exchange has announced plans to become a fully-fledged venue for impact businesses to directly raise funds.
The Social Stock Exchange said it would launch the only venture of its kind to both unlock access to capital for impact businesses regardless of their size and also offer a secondary market for these investments.
It described the venture as “a pioneering funding platform for impact businesses” – those that have the potential to deliver a measurable social or environmental benefit alongside a traditional financial return.
“Investing for impact is increasingly seen as the way to make financial markets serve the needs of the public, rather than prey upon them. However until now retail investors have been reluctant to get involved as there has been no secondary market in many of these investments, making these investments unsuitable for many,” Tomas Carruthers, Chief Executive of the Social Stock Exchange said.
“The ability to readily buy and sell these holdings ensures investing for impact is no longer just the preserve of the wealthy.”
The Social Stock Exchange flagged its intention to accommodate many different sizes of enterprise and to meet the legitimate demands of investors for regular liquidity events and trading.
It said the principal focus would be on how to make financial markets serve the needs of the public, whilst potentially achieving returns in a socially responsible way.
Launched in 2013 by the UK Government the Social Stock Exchange is designed to connect publicly listed social impact businesses with investors seeking to generate positive impact alongside a financial return.
Its aim is to bridge the information gap between values-based investors and growth businesses that are delivering positive social and environmental impact through their core activities.
By doing this the SSE provides investors with the knowledge they need to identify and compare those organisations that deliver demonstrable value to society and the environment. This will allow the social investment market to grow to scale, leading to the creation of more impact.
The move follows the recent publication of the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce report, which recommended a number of initiatives to develop the market for impact investing.