Jamaican Diaspora Urged to Support Jamaica Social Stock Exchange

Christopher Chaplin, Jamaican Honorary Consul in Philadelphia says Jamaican Diaspora Urged to Support Jamaica Social Stock Exchange

Christopher Chaplin, Jamaican Honorary Consul – Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – 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, in June.

The Consul General 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

Onyka Barrett Scott – General Manager – JN Foundation

Onyka Barrett Scott, general manager of the JN Foundation, who was also a panelist 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 (USAID).

These social enterprises are Deaf Can! Coffee and 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, which ended last year, the JN Foundation general manager said that more than 35 social enterprises benefited from training to strengthen their businesses

In addition, she said over 10,000 beneficiaries were served by the social enterprises that were supported by SEBI. And, 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 informed.

Mrs Barrett Scott sated that 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, which is geared to provide support, in respect of: training, incubation and the acceleration of burgeoning enterprises.

“However, the questions are: how do you get organisations ready for the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange? How do you get them ready for investment? A Social Enterprise Jamaica is one such organisation, which would be able to provide the type of training that is needed to prepare any organisation for opportunities such as this,” she said.

Mrs Barrett Scott informed that a business plan has already been created, and the galvanizing of partnerships for Social Enterprise Jamaica is already underway.

Other panelists in the session who made presentations included: Christopher White, director of the Institute for Industrial Strategy at Kings College in London; Jason Fraser, country head, USAID Mission, Jamaica; Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick, director at the British Council, Jamaica; and Yvonne Field, founder and managing director, UBELE Initiative, London.

The 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference was held under the theme “Jamaica and the Diaspora: Building Pathways for Sustainable Development”.

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