Diaspora urged to support Jamaica Social Stock Exchange
Christopher Chaplin, Jamaican honorary consul in Philadelphia, has encouraged members of the Jamaican diaspora to support the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE), which was launched by the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
The JSSE initiative is poised to facilitate funding support through public donations for organisations involved in the implementation of social programmes for the country’s most vulnerable and marginalised citizens.
“[We need a] coordinated marketing of the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange, and we, in the diaspora, need to assist in the process,” he said.
He was addressing the plenary session on social business enterprises at the 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston recently.
The honorary consul noted that there was some level of security in investing in an organisation listed on the JSSE because there is transparency as these companies and organisations must provide financial records and impact measurements.
Onyka Barrett Scott, general manager of the JN Foundation, who was also a panellist in that plenary session, informed delegates that two of the social enterprises listed on the JSSE were mentored by the Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI), a project of the JN Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development.
These social enterprises are Deaf Can! Coffee and the Alpha School of Music.
“We are very pleased to support the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange as it continues to bring vital support to the social enterprise sector. Investment is one such critical support, and the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange offers such an avenue,” she said. Turning to the impact of SEBI over the past six years ending in 2018, the JN Foundation general manager said that more than 35 social enterprises benefited from training to strengthen their businesses.
In addition, she said that over 10,000 beneficiaries were served by the social enterprises that were supported by SEBI. She added that more than 200 part-time and full-time jobs were created by these social enterprises.
“The part, for us, that was really an inspiration is that during that period of time, more than J$166 million in revenues were created by these enterprises, hence allowing them to touch the lives of countless beneficiaries, whom they were serving,” she said.
Barrett Scott said the JN Foundation was not finished with the social enterprise sector as the organisation was committed to investing in visions and dreams, which can make an impact.
She said the JN Foundation was working to fine-tune Social Enterprise Jamaica, an initiative that is geared towards providing support by way of training, incubation, and the acceleration of burgeoning enterprises.