Announces New Mission for the Nasdaq Foundation to Champion Diversity in Investor Engagement
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.
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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.”