A ‘Liverpool and Wirral Social Stock Exchange’ is to be set up to encourage investors to put their money into local, responsible firms to help them grow and expand so they do not have to rely on high street banks or financial contributions from family members.
It will initially run as a 12 month pilot as a regional offshoot of the national Social Stock Exchange, with a view to creating a permanent presence in the area.
The national Social Stock Exchange launched in the summer of 2013 and has built a membership of 35 firms with a collective market capitalisation of £2bn, with companies in sectors ranging from energy to social inclusion and fair trade benefiting so far.
The organisation has been working closely with Liverpool and Wirral Councils over the last few months to research the demand for a local exchange and a great deal of work has already been done securing interest from investors and business community.
A total of 92 percent of businesses who responded thought the initiative would be a good idea, while half would be interested in accessing it in the future and 12 percent felt it would be right for them now.
Larger charities also expressed an interest in investing in the scheme as well as using it to raise funds.
It is thought it could generate support for up to 108 businesses who aim to make a social, environmental or ethical impact, and raise up to £75 million in capital.
Mayor of Liverpool, 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 that they can borrow against.
This initiative represents the very best of finance, bringing together investors with a conscience with firms that are out to make a difference and improve lives.
I am particularly pleased that we have been working in partnership with our colleagues in Wirral, because we both recognise the mutual benefits of having businesses in two large areas of Liverpool City Region eligible for membership.”