Rockefeller Foundation Gives $500,000 to Develop ’Social’ Stock Market

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A “social stock exchange” where ethical investors can trade shares in worthy enterprises could be set up under plans announced on Friday.

The exchange would aim to combine profitable trading with social or environmental missions. Clean technologies, healthcare, first world development projects and help for disadvantaged communities would be included in the exchange.

The Rockefeller Foundation, one of the world’s best-known philanthropic organisations, is putting up $500,000 (?252,000) to pay for the feasibility study. If this identifies demand for a social stock exchange, the market would be launched next year.

Government initiatives have included the creation of a separate form of incorporation for social enterprises and plans for a social investment bank funded with unclaimed assets held by financial institutions. Well-known UK social enterprises include the Eden Project, the Cornish botanical visitor attraction, Fifteen, a restaurant chain that employs disadvantaged young people, and Big Issue magazine sold by homeless people.

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Source: The Financial Times (link opens in a new window)