- Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ: NDAQ) recently announced a new “Purpose Initiative” — which is designed to support women and underrepresented minority communities with the resources needed to grow and sustain their businesses
Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ: NDAQ) recently announced a new “Purpose Initiative” — which is 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 in order to utilize Nasdaq’s unique place at the center of capital creation, markets, and technology.
As the capital markets are a driving force of prosperity, economic growth, job creation, and innovation, there are structural factors across society that have created challenges for women and underrepresented minorities to achieve equal access to capital. And 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. But very little venture capital in the U.S. goes to women-led teams and Black and Latino founders.
Nasdaq is also relaunching the Nasdaq Foundation – established in 1994 as the Nasdaq Educational Foundation – with a renewed mission focused on two primary goals: 1.) to reimagine investor engagement to equip under-represented communities with the financial knowledge to share in the wealth that markets create and 2.) to leverage its investment in the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center alongside new strategic partnerships with organizations who can help build a 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.
Along with committing to an annual contribution tied to operating profits, Nasdaq has made a one-time capital injection of $10 million to support the Nasdaq Foundation’s refined mission. And to complement Nasdaq’s renewed commitment to create lasting, positive change, its efforts will be further amplified through the Nasdaq GoodWorks employee volunteerism program and the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, which is an independent 501(c)(3) organization committed to bringing access and equity to the global entrepreneurial ecosystem.
GoodWorks is going to identify new philanthropic and employee volunteerism opportunities with local charities and non-profit organizations that promote diversity in entrepreneurship and investor engagement. And 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.
Over 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.
“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. 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.”
— Adena Friedman, President and CEO of Nasdaq
“For nearly half a century, Nasdaq has provided unwavering support to entrepreneurs and believed in their potential to shape the world. 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.”
— Jailan Griffiths, Vice President and Head of the Purpose Initiative at Nasdaq