09.21.2020

Nasdaq Launches Purpose Initiative

Nasdaq announced today a new “Purpose Initiative,” designed to support women and underrepresented minority communities with the resources needed to grow and sustain their businesses. The Purpose Initiative comprises the company’s philanthropic, community outreach, corporate sustainability, and employee volunteerism programs, to leverage Nasdaq’s unique place at the center of capital creation, markets, and technology.

At Nasdaq, our purpose is to champion inclusive growth and prosperity. We power stronger economies, create more equitable opportunities, and contribute to a more sustainable world to help our communities, clients, employees and people of all backgrounds reach their full potential.

While the capital markets are a fundamental engine of prosperity, economic growth, job creation, and innovation, there are structural factors across society that have created challenges for women and underpresented minorities to achieve equal access to capital. There are many proof points that demonstrate the outcome of those challenges, including data that shows women of color are starting new businesses faster than anyone else, yet less than 3% of venture capital in the U.S. goes to women-led teams, and only 1% goes to Black and Latinx founders.1

“Unequal participation in the markets is deepening the divide within our communities, and more needs to be done to level the playing field for entrepreneurs and investors of all ages, genders, and races,” said Adena Friedman, President and CEO of Nasdaq. “We have observed first-hand during the pandemic the spirit of cooperative capitalism where companies can play a critical role in helping to solve some of today’s most pressing societal issues. Because the capital markets can be a powerful vehicle for fostering new ideas in building a more inclusive economy and creating wealth, we are pledging to use our industry expertise, renewed sense of purpose, and philanthropic focus to advance investor engagement and provide increased support to minority and female entrepreneurs.”

The New Nasdaq FoundationAdvancing Diversity in Investor Engagement

Nasdaq will relaunch the Nasdaq Foundation – established in 1994 as the Nasdaq Educational Foundation – with a renewed mission focused on two primary goals: the first goal will be to reimagine investor engagement to equip under-represented communities with the financial knowledge to share in the wealth that markets create. The second goal is to leverage its investment in the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center alongside new strategic partnerships with organizations who can help build a deeper, data-led understanding of where the challenges are greatest, what existing efforts could be amplified, and how the Nasdaq Foundation can make new and distinctive contributions.

“For nearly half a century, Nasdaq has provided unwavering support to entrepreneurs and believed in their potential to shape the world,” said Jailan GriffithsVice President and Head of the Purpose Initiative at Nasdaq. “Our reimagined Nasdaq Foundation will leverage Nasdaq’s role in the capital markets to equip under-represented communities with the financial knowledge to better empower them to build a prosperous future and participate in an ecosystem that supports and sustains their growth.”

In addition to committing to an annual contribution tied to our operating profits, Nasdaq has made a one-time capital injection of $10 million to support the Nasdaq Foundation’s refined mission.

Extending our Commitment to our Communities: Increasing Capital Markets Participation

To complement Nasdaq’s renewed commitment to create lasting, positive change, our efforts will be further amplified through the Nasdaq GoodWorks employee volunteerism program and the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, an independent 501(c)(3) organization committed to bringing access and equity to the global entrepreneurial ecosystem.

GoodWorks will identify new philanthropic and employee volunteerism opportunities with local charities and non-profit organizations that promote diversity in entrepreneurship and investor engagement. Nasdaq will also continue to support the Entrepreneurial Center’s mission to deliver resources and mentorship to entrepreneurs of every background, with programs specifically focused on women and underrepresented minorities, to strengthen, scale, and bring to market their ventures. In the last four years, the Entrepreneurial Center has reached over 25,000 current and aspiring entrepreneurs from over 90 countries through 5,000 hours of free education, supported by more than 700 faculty, coaches, and executive mentors.

Revitalizing Investor Education & Engagement through Nasdaq’s ‘Smart Investing’ Portal

Nasdaq has launched a Smart Investing portal to inform the general public on all elements of retail trading and investing. This educational hub includes a range of resources on the principles of investing, from how diversification can help reduce risks, to how ETFs and options work. New content will be added on a regular basis and is organized in three categories: introduction to investing; money matters; and trading essentials. With data showing 14% of Americans do not invest because they don’t know how2, Nasdaq believes that greater access to educational resources can help to drive increased investor engagement from all ages, genders, and race. Aligned with Nasdaq’s renewed purpose, the Smart Investing portal’s tools are aimed to help investors – both seasoned and novice alike – make more informed decisions about saving, trading, and protecting their money.

Source: Nasdaq

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