Liverpool and Wirral to
pilot Social Stock Exchange
A 'Liverpool and Wirral Social
Stock Exchange' is to be set up to encourage investors to put their money into
local, responsible firms to help them grow and expand so they do not have to
rely on high street banks or financial contributions from family members.
It will initially run as a 12 month pilot as a regional offshoot of the national
'Social Stock Exchange', with a view to creating a permanent presence in the area.
The national 'Social Stock Exchange' launched in the summer of 2013 and has built
a membership of 35 firms with a collective market capitalisation of £2bn, with
companies in sectors ranging from energy to social inclusion and fair trade
benefiting so far.
The organisation has been working closely with Liverpool and Wirral Councils
over the last few months to research the demand for a local exchange and a great
deal of work has already been done securing interest from investors and business
A total of 92% of businesses who responded thought the initiative would be a
good idea, while half would be interested in accessing it in the future and 12%
felt it would be right for them now.
Larger charities also expressed an interest in investing in the scheme, as well
as using it to raise funds,
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "This is a really simple concept
that could be a game changer for responsible businesses.
We know that some businesses sometimes struggle to secure funding, particularly
when they don't have any assets such as buildings that they can borrow against.
This initiative represents the very best of finance, bringing together investors
with a conscience with firms that are out to make a difference and improve
lives. I am particularly pleased that we have been working in partnership with
our colleagues in Wirral, because we both recognise the mutual benefits of
having businesses in 2 large areas of Liverpool City Region eligible for
It is thought it could generate support for up to 108 businesses who aim to make
a social, environmental or ethical impact, and raise up to £75 million in
Cllr Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council said:- "Our region has a proud
history of successfully marrying investment with social improvements, not least
the Lever Brothers' Port Sunlight village, built to house their workers. The
Liverpool and Wirral Social Stock Exchange will pair up investors with social
enterprises in mutually beneficial relationships that will pay dividends for the
people of the region as a whole. I am keen to welcome new investment into the
borough, and the opportunity to build a strong, sustainable Wirral. We are keen
to maximise cooperation between the boroughs, and within the wider city region,
and it will be a pleasure to share a platform at the International Festival for
Business to set out our plans."
Social Stock Exchange Chief executive Tomás Carruthers said:- "We have
already seen how a social stock exchange can work at a national level, but the
research we have conducted shows that there's clear demand; both from companies
wanting finance and from investors; to roll this out at a local level. Investors
are not only helping support local businesses, but they also have the added
benefit of knowing they are improving the local area itself, including the
delivery of new services and facilities, as well as job creation."
It would not be the 1st time the region had its own stock exchange, as
Liverpool had its own dedicated trading floor from 1836 until 1965. It then
merged with other Northern exchanges, but the trading floor, which was latterly
at Silkhouse Court on Tithebarn Street in the City Centre, was in operation
Businesses wanting to apply initially complete a simple two page application to
the Exchange, and providing they meet the criteria they submit an impact report
to the independent admissions panel. Around half of the companies that approach
the exchange are granted membership, and an impact report has to be resubmitted
on an annual basis.
The move is set to be ratified at Cabinet meetings of Liverpool and Wirral
Councils later this month and will be formally launched at IFB 2016, on Wednesday,
29 June 2016.