Deaf Can first firm listed on Jamaica Social Stock Exchange

Business

Deaf Can first firm listed on Jamaica Social Stock Exchange

BY RICHARD BROWNE
Business editor
browner@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 23, 2020

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One year after its official launch, the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) has signed up its first enlistee, Deaf Can Coffee, with support of $7.5 million from National Commercial Bank (NCB) Foundation.


The foundation made the presentation at the launch of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) conference at Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston on Tuesday night.


Later, that amount was topped up with a cheque of $400,000 from Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who made the presentation during his speech.


“I've always been an advocate for the promotion of corporate social responsibility,” Holness said. “When a business is doing well it should be shared and felt by the people and the surrounding environs. And it's not just for business — political parties, government agencies, they have social responsibility too.”


The donation was from the prime minister's own Positive Jamaica Foundation to support the projects on the JSSE.


The JSSE was launched by JSE Managing Director Marlene Street Forrest at the same conference a year ago. One year later Street Forrest is proud to announce the “exciting development”.


“The NCB Foundation has committed to providing full funding to Deaf Can Coffee projects,” Street Forrest announced.


“Isn't that wonderful?”she continued.


Deaf Can is a social enterprise that supports the deaf community in Jamaica by training young deaf people to become baristas, so that they can be gainfully employed at coffee shops across the island. Deaf Can beneficiaries sitting in the first row at Tuesday night's event were able to follow the proceedings through a sign language interpreter.


Street Forrest noted that 2019 was an active year for the JSE, coming out of two consecutive years as the globe's top-performing stock market.


Now that the JSSE has its first social enterprise listed, the JSE will be looking at developing big data. A commercial data division will be “coming to you soon”, Street Forrest announced.


CARIBBEAN REGION


New JSE Chairman Julian Mair spoke to other developments ahead, including developing stock markets across the region.


Noting that he was already in communication with interests in the Dominican Republic and that a team from Haiti was in the audience, Mair said, “We want to truly develop stock markets in the region. Across the region, the capital markets are underdeveloped.”


He also noted that Jamaica had done much to unlock inefficiencies based around fear and lack of trust. He challenged regulators in the region to be less fearful of change.


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