Social Stock Exchange Quarterly Update

There’s no argument that this year has started at a brisk pace for the Social Stock Exchange. Twelve new members have been admitted, we’ve seen the production of our biggest ever annual research book and an oversubscribed investor conference all stand out amongst the highlights of the quarter. Geographical expansion continues apace too, with the Liverpool & Wirral Social Stock Exchange seeing its first member admitted, and the Scottish Social Stock Exchange welcoming new applications. If we look around, it may seem as if the world is in a state of flux with factors such as Brexit, the new US Presidential Administration and an evolving political landscape across continental Europe, but the interest in impact investing is clearly growing and is more important than ever.

 

New Members

The following impact businesses have joined the ranks of the Social Stock Exchange since the start of the year:

Acrobat Carbon Solutions works with power utility firms, helping them meet their ECO obligations with customers in fuel poverty.

Discovered empowers global artisans through business. On Discovered, handmade goods can be sold directly to consumers worldwide.

Emergex offers synthetic vaccine technology that is ideally suited to the low resource environments where pandemic infections often occur. These vaccines act as a first line of defense against existing and newly emerging infectious outbreaks.

ET Index Research helps investors identify, understand and manage carbon and climate- related risks. This is achieved through carbon data, portfolio carbon analytics and low carbon indexes.

iSmart is an inclusive educational platform to support students of all ages with learning difficulties. Products integrate with tablets and mobiles to bring together schools, teachers, parents, psychologists and students.

London Rebuilding Society is a social enterprise specialising in innovative products and services that provide access to finance and support for individuals and households.

Rezatec is the leading geospatial data analytics company providing valuable and actionable landscape intelligence as a critical decision support tool to help drive the smart management of land-based assets.

SteviaLife Sweeteners grows premium stevia leaf in East Africa utilizing only sustainable and no-till agriculture systems. With intense respect for the environment it strives for low land impact while creating jobs for our surrounding communities, improving quality of life and agriculture education.

Switchee manufactures the first B2B smart thermostat designed for social landlords. The company is dedicated to fighting fuel poverty, helping improve the quality of life in social housing.

Symbiotics is a leading investment company dedicated to inclusive and sustainable finance in emerging markets.

Thrive Renewables provides an efficient and rewarding financial connection with sustainable energy, uniting shareholders and bondholders in direct investment in a cleaner, smarter energy system.

Verdabelo works to replace energy-intensive equipment with more efficient technology on a cost-neutral basis. Lower energy bills offset the cost of the upgraded equipment.

 

Scottish Social Stock Exchange

We are currently conducting a pathfinder project with the City of Edinburgh Council over launching the Scottish Social Stock Exchange. This is progressing well, with very positive feedback coming in from investors, issuers and government right across Scotland. We have hosted and participated in a number of events since the start of the year, including our own round-table debate, as well as the annual UKSIF conference, which this year was held in Edinburgh.

 

Events Programme

The Impact Investor Club met in London in mid-January to debate the motion that “This house believes business owes nothing to Society”. Facilitated by Social Stock Exchange member firm Debate Mate – a social-enterprise aimed at tackling chronic social immobility through a specialised debate programme for schoolchildren – the morning proved to be thoroughly insightful, even if the outcome of the audience voting against the motion was perhaps fully expected.

On February 1st, the annual Investor Conference saw almost 200 delegates gathering in central London to hear from a wide range of speakers. Tom Hall, Head of Philanthropy Services at UBS and Nigel Wilson, the CEO of Legal and General provided keynote addresses, whilst a series of engaging panels brought a range of individuals working in the impact investing space together on a common stage. Financiers from the likes of Barclays and Blackrock sat alongside representatives from the front line of impact investing, including a number of Social Stock Exchange member firms giving attendees an invaluable degree of insight. Feedback has been universally positive and the team is already planning the 2018 event.

Late February saw the Impact Investor Club convene once again, this time with a moderated Q&A session discussing crowdfunding and angel investment. Panelists included speakers from Crowdcube, Angel Academe, Clustermarket and Powervault, who collectively lead what was both a lively and very popular session. Impact businesses come in various shapes and sizes so the market needs the flexibility to be able to fund them through many different routes.

We were delighted to sponsor CleanEquity Monaco – the world’s leading cleantech & sustainable technology forum – hosted by Innovator Capital – where the Social Stock Exchange presented a plenary session on ‘Transforming the exit landscape’ to the investor audience. We have received 5 new company applications following our participation and hope to welcome more new members over the following months.

 

Family Offices Conference – Values-based investments – 10th May

The Social Stock Exchange’s annual family offices conference is again being held in the City of London on Wednesday May 10th. Family offices find themselves facing a growing challenge of intergenerational wealth transfer that now more than ever is focusing on a demand to cycle into pro-social or pro-environmental investments. How do the family offices strike a balance between the requirements and regulations these new portfolios mandate, ensuring governance standards are maintained, whilst also finding the correct level of financial performance?

Impact investment provides a platform for the values of both the current holders of wealth, and their inheritors, to be aligned. It is reported that 61% of family offices are either currently active or expect to be active in impact investing. This conference will discuss the practicalities of transferring wealth between generations in the new world of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Confirmed speakers so far include, Bonny Landers, Head of Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investment at Sandaire Investment Office, a multi-family office and Simon Smiles, Chief Investment Officer for Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Wealth Management. More will be announced shortly.

 

Research Compendium – 2017

As part of our commitment to increasing the profile and raising awareness of the Social Stock Exchange and its members we again partnered with All Street (www.allstreet.org) to prepare the Social Stock Exchange Annual Research Book for 2017, which is the biggest yet. We launched the new compendium at our Investor Conference and it can be downloaded here,

 

Member News

We’re keen to help celebrate the achievements of our members, so if you have any news regarding awards you’ve won or other accolades you’ve received, please send them to t.cross@socialstockechange.com and we’ll include as many as we can in the next quarterly update.

We were delighted to read that Switchee was featured in the Real Business top 50 UK disruptors supplement that ran in the Sunday Times.

Congratulations also to Home from Home Care, who collected the Gold Investors in People award, reflecting their commitment to staff development.

Emergex has also been awarded a grant worth almost £500,000 from Innovate UK, the national innovation agency. This will help Emergex develop their Zika and multivalent filovirus (Ebola and Marburg) vaccine programs.

 

For more information please contact:

Tony Cross
Social Stock Exchange
T: +44 7973 284 749
E: t.cross@socialstockexchange.com

Tomás Carruthers
Social Stock Exchange
T: +44 (0) 203 608 7955
E: t.carruthers@socialstockexchange.com

Sara-Louise Porter
Social Stock Exchange
T: +44 (0) 7807 747 208
E: s.porter@socialstockexchange.com


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