History was created today on World Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Day when the Jamaica Stock Exchange held a Bell Ringing Ceremony at its Head Office, 40 Harbour Street, Kingston, to recognize the Day. The Bell Ringing Ceremony signal the opening of the Stock Market and the occasion was also used to bring attention to the opening of the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange’s (JSSE) website, where persons can make donations to a project or projects of their choice.
NCB Capital Markets Limited (NCBCM) CEO, Mr. Steven Gooden made the first donation to the projects listed on the JSSE with donations of $50,000 to each of the 5 projects.
The five (5) projects that can be funded are:
- Agency for Renewal (AIR)
- Alpha School of Music
- Choose Life International
- Def Can! Coffee and;
- Praise Jamaica.
To donate persons can visit JSSE website at https:jsse.jamstockex.com and start their social giving today.
Mrs. Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the JSE in her welcome stated that, “The JSSE governance structure is strong, consisting of a Board of Governors and a Listing and Selections Committee which provides a rigorous process for the selection of programmes and projects. This should encourage investors to invest but should not discourage organizations to apply for the funding of their programmes. Through the JSSE’s website,’ applicants can now indicate their funding requirements. The JSSE will hold three evaluation rounds annually for applicants. Registration for the evaluation rounds ends on February, July and October. Selected projects will be listed on the JSSE’s website and become eligible to receive contributions. Projects applying to be listed on JSSE can request between J$5 – $25M per project.”
Mr. Steven Gooden, President of the Jamaica Securities Dealers Association (JSDA), and speaking on behalf of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), in his remarks stated, “I reflect on a number of ills, 17.1% of Jamaicans fall below the poverty line, as reported in the Statistical Planning Institute Annual Report 2016. 8.7% unemployment among Jamaicans as last measured by the Statistical Planning Institute in October 2018. In 70% of Jamaican high schools, more than half of the Grade 11 cohort of students do not pass five CSEC subjects including Math and English in one sitting (Jamaica Gleaner July 3, 2018). Let me use this opportunity to encourage all businesses … large, medium and small to get into their communities and get involved – this, ladies and gentlemen, is no one man’s role… it takes a village. If the above is anything to go by, then it means that our society has many crippling problems that we as businesses can work toward solving”. Mr. Gooden then successfully used the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange Platform to make the donation of $50,000 to each project on behalf of NCB Capital Markets Limited.
Ms. Morana Smodlaka Krajnovic, Chief of Party, Local Partner Development, FHI 360 in her remarks spoke to the work that FHI 360 is doing through the USAID in Jamaica. She went on to say that there are a lot of social entrepreneurs, however, they alone cannot solve the myriad of social issues facing Jamaica. It takes partnership to solve the problems and what better way to have partnership than with the social enterprises and the private sector to solve some of these problems, she added. Ms. Smodlaka Krajnovic further stated that it was the dawn of a new day where the JSSE will act as a catalyst to bring together all the social partners and any number of projects can be listed and funded.
Dr. K’admawe K’nife a Member of the Listing & Selection Committee of the JSSE, told the audience that with the opening of the JSSE’s platform, it brings greater transparency to Social Enterprises and this will encourage Jamaicans here and in the diaspora to contribute to more social projects in the country and add greater value to the Social Economy. He stated that persons will be more willing to give when they are able to track and see what their contributions have done to transform social spaces and the economy as a whole. He congratulated the Stock Exchange on this bold initiative and that he was looking forward to seeing many projects being funded and impacting the economy.
The honour was bestowed to Ambassador Malgorzata Waslikewska, Ambassador of the Delegation of the EU to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and the Cayman Islands, to ring the bell to open the market.