Social stock exchange goes local in Liverpool and Wirral

21 Jun 16

A local social stock exchange is to be piloted in Liverpool and the Wirral, it was announced today.

The exchange will run as an offshoot to the national Social Stock Exchange and will be trialled for 12 months, with a view to creating a permanent presence in the area.

It is hoped the move will encourage investors to put money into local, responsible firms and alleviate the dependence on lending from high street banks or financial contributions from family members.

According to a joint statement from Liverpool City Council and Wirral Council, the initiative could support up to 108 businesses “who aim to make a social, environmental or ethical impact,” and raise up to £75m in capital.

Launched in 2013, the national Social Stock Exchange connects socially responsible businesses with potential investors through a regulated exchange framework. It is the first such organisation in the world.

Currently, the organisation boasts 35 members across many sectors, including energy, housing and medical, with a total market capitalisation of £2bn.

It has been working in tandem with Liverpool and Wirral councils to research the level of demand in the area, and to secure interest from investors and business.

In a survey, 92% of businesses who responded thought the initiative “would be a good idea”, and half would be interested in accessing it in the future.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson, said: “This is a really simple concept that could be a game-changer for responsible businesses.

“We know that some businesses sometimes struggle to secure funding, particularly when they don’t have any assets such as buildings they can borrow against.”

Commenting on the collaboration between Liverpool and Wirral councils, he said both organisations “recognise the mutual benefits of having businesses in two large areas of Liverpool City Region eligible for membership”.

Chief executive of the Social Stock Exchange Tomás Carruthers acknowledged the success of the national organisation and added “the research we have conducted shows there is a clear demand… to roll this out at a local level.”

The scheme will be ratified at cabinet meetings of Liverpool and Wirral councils later this month and will be formally launched at the International Festival for Business on 29 June.

Did you enjoy this article?