Jamaica Stock Exchange seeks funding for social exchange company

The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) is ramping up its call for support of suicide prevention company Choose Life International (CLI).

CLI is one of several companies supported by  the  Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE).

The JSE defines a social enterprise as a business whose focus is on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, and whose mission is to solve social, cultural, economic or environmental problems at the community or national level.

CLI needs in the region of J$23 million to reach its finding target of J$25 million. It has so far received donations amounting to J$2.56 million.
The JSSE platform was launched in January 2019. Donations made to this category of company on the exchange can be tax deductible.

Choose Life International serves to provide support and empowerment to schools, churches, businesses, and the wider community in areas of suicide prevention and grief counselling. Clientele includes all demographics such as children, teens, children and adults.

The company indicates that its goal is to improve the physical, emotional and spiritual conditions of at-risk individuals. Among its further aims, is to facilitate “Alignment with Divine Purpose through counselling services”
Under the project, organisations can apply to list their projects on the website for donations to finance their start-up or to expand. Projects listed will be able to raise anywhere from J$5 million to J$25 million per project.

Prospective investors will be given access to the website to select the project they wish to invest or hold shares in, and donate through the platform. In turn, they will receive ‘social shares’.

Donors will be issued with receipts for tax purposes or, where applicable, to facilitate refund of their donations.
A second phase of the project – called the Jamaica Impact Investment Exchange, or JIIX – will allow investors to hold tradable shares in the social enterprises that list on the social platform.

To qualify for listing, the projects go through a five-step selection process, which includes a site visit. Three evaluation rounds are held annually. Organisations that qualify for the platform file quarterly and semi-annual reports.

The funds raised by each listed project will be distributed to them after donations reach 100 per cent of the funds targeted, net of fees.
The enterprises will be required to self-generate 10 per cent of the funding required for the project they are listing on JSSE.