Deaf Can! Coffee listed on the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) this week, following the announcement of its fully funded expansion project last month.
The listing ceremony, which took place at the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s (JSE) Harbour Street headquarters in downtown Kingston, made Deaf Can! the first company to join the JSSE.
Announcement of its impending listing was made at the JSE’s 15th Regional and Capital Markets Conference in March. At the time, JSE managing director Marlene Street Forrest said the NCB Foundation and NCB Capital Markets had committed a combined $7.5 million towards Deaf Can’s expansion of a farm in Manchester.
Deaf Can! was created in 2015 and trains young people with hearing impairments to become professional baristas.
Speaking at the event, founder and CEO of Deaf Can!, Blake Widmer said the listing was a dream come true for the deaf community and that they will be able to offer employment to their own, while contributing to the agricultural sector and the country on a whole.
Further, Widmer said the cultivation of more coffee for the business has become a reality and the Deaf Can! farm will move from one and a half acres to a five-acre farm.
NCB Foundation chairman, Thalia Lyn, said “NCB Foundation did not find it difficult to fund Deaf Can! as they were in the business of funding social enterprises that will lift the country and add value to the economy, and this Deaf Can! was doing through its coffee business, and at the same time, employed a group of young people who otherwise would not have received employment because of their disability.”
The social exchange was created to include Jamaican’s in promoting the “believing that true development of any country happens in all areas of life and facets of society”, states the JSE website adding “It will engage the financial sector and the entire economy of the country towards a greater good, which encompasses sustainable development with people at the centre, growing the social economy, which is now approximately 3.5 per cent of Jamaica’s US$17 billion economy.”