Unnati Breaks Ground as First Listing on India’s Social Stock Exchange

Unnati Breaks Ground as First Listing on India’s Social Stock Exchange

In a landmark move for social impact investing in India, SGBS Unnati Foundation (SUF) has become the first entity to list on the country’s social stock exchanges (SSEs). This historic step opens doors for non-profit organizations (NPOs) to access alternative funding and amplify their impact on society.

SUF, a not-for-profit established in 2011, has empowered over 45,000 youth with vocational training and job placement initiatives. During their fundraising period, the organization attracted ₹1.8 crore from prominent investors like Zerodha, Nabard, and individual philanthropists.

The listing marks a unique feature of SSEs: Zero Coupon Zero Principal (ZCZP) instruments. Investors in SUF’s listing will receive credits in their demat accounts, representing their contribution to the organization’s mission. While not tradable, these instruments hold immense value – the satisfaction of supporting social good. The value will ultimately return to zero at the completion of SUF’s project in a year.

“This funding will equip us to train 10,000 youth across India and empower them with career opportunities,” said Ramesh Swamy, lead trustee at SUF. “Listing on the SSE adds credibility and transparency for our investors, allowing them to witness the impact of their contributions firsthand.”

The SSE framework offers several advantages beyond funding. It sets stringent standards for NPOs, requiring them to define clear goals, disclose fund utilization plans, and submit audited impact reports. This ensures responsible use of funds and fosters trust among investors.

Furthermore, the recent SEBI board decision to halve the minimum issue size and application size for ZCZPs on SSEs opens the doors for wider participation. This paves the way for more NPOs to benefit from this innovative funding mechanism.

“SSEs represent a transformative approach to impact investing, connecting donors with NPOs driving meaningful change,” said Ashish Chauhan, MD & CEO at NSE. “This framework fosters transparency, accountability, and efficiency, allowing diverse stakeholders to contribute to a more equitable and sustainable future.”

Unnati’s pioneering listing on the SSE is a powerful testament to the potential of this platform. It sets a precedent for future NPOs and empowers them to leverage this innovative model to scale their impact and create a lasting positive change in society.