South West SSX
Why develop this at a regional level?
Since the closure of regional stock exchanges across the UK in the 1970’s, investment decisions have become ever more London-centric. This is at odds with the increasingly democratised nature of financial services we have today. As a result, the Social Stock Exchange has been working closely with the Cabinet Office and the Minister for Civil Society’s staff to ensure that the whole of the UK can become a hub for impact investing.
Opening social stock exchanges on a regional basis allows investors to invest in projects in their local area. For these investments to be considered accessible by all, investors must be able to buy and sell at a time and in a manner that suits them. In addition to a variety of local entrepreneurs and businesses, networks of local professional advisers have been developed to increase awareness and access to the exchange.
Furthermore, impact investments have the ability to deliver utility beyond a pure financial return. Projects such as local renewable energy projects, rural broadband or the provision of local childcare have the ability to improve the overall quality of life for those in the area, as well as providing a financial return.
The first of these regional exchanges has been established in the South West. There is a good understanding of the concept of impact investing and a strong track record of implementation in the South West of the UK – both in government and amongst the private sector advisers. The Social Stock Exchange would also like to acknowledge the resounding level of support from local authorities, including Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and East Devon Council, which clearly recognise that this initiative can help redress some of the imbalances that currently exist in the UK economy.
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