Durreen Shahnaz, IIX Founder and Chairman, was interviewed by writer Lisa de Bode for “De Tijd,” (The Times), a business and economics daily newspaper in Belgium.
Read the English translation of the Dutch article below – another great example of how IIX is garnering attention across the world through its unique business model.
“The world’s first exchange for social enterprises will open in Singapore” (translated by Magnus Young)
Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), established by the Singaporean
entrepreneur Shahnaz Durreen, is creating the social equivalent of the
ordinary stock exchange. It is the world’s first exchange for social
They will be active from September 2011. The exchange will serve as a
trading platform for buying equities and bonds from social enterprise
firms in Singapore, Thailand, and Bangladesh. Both profitable and
companies with a social mission, as well as not-for-profit companies
can go there.IIX will create a liquid and transparent market where social companies can easily access capital in order to increase their impact on their environment. It also intends to grant investors both social and financial “dividends” from the same investment.
The possibilities are enormous. These could include the possibility of investing in bonds of a local homeless business, or to buy shares in a firm that recycles office furniture. From projects in Singapore with mainly an economic perspective, to sustainable solutions to changing society. “We are not a charitable institution,” says Shahnaz.
“Every dollar is paid back.”
The concept appealed particularly to investors who have been entrepreneurs themselves. From their successful career they want give back to the society, but also see their hard-earned money making adequate returns. Bill Gates is the best-known entrepreneur today,with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supporting philanthropic projects. John Rockefeller had similar intentions, and his finances (e.g. the Rockefeller Fund) funded the establishment of the exchange with a one-time donation of $ 495,000.
In Portugal, a similar initiative is underway with the upwards direction of BVS Portugal (SSA Portugal) after Brazil’s social stock exchange model Bovespa. Here it is an online platform where investors can buy shares in social projects in the region at a fixed price of 1 million euro.
“In these cases, they are not real investments because you can not earn financially,” says Shahnaz. The United Kingdom is also planning to establish a ‘real’ social stock exchange that would be trading social stocks and bonds.
In Belgium more and more philanthropic funding is projected in the near future by a growing number of estates. “For now this money is invested for example in cooperative companies for good goals, and we see no need in Bel20 for an NGO in Belgium,” Dirk Dalle says of Jack, a financier and and advisory organization for social projects. “We do see more space in the future for citizens to invest in such projects. Especially in the field of social welfare, we see a growing need. “