Nasdaq: A Voice for Equity and Inclusion in the Capital Markets

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Spotlight on Nasdaq

Since its founding 50 years ago, Nasdaq has grown steadily to become the world’s second-biggest stock exchange, with 3,554 listed companies representing $19.4 trillion in total market capitalization. It has also become a voice for equity and inclusion in the capital markets.

“Unequal participation in the markets is deepening the divide within our communities,” says CEO Adena T. Friedman. “More needs to be done to level the playing field for entrepreneurs and investors of all ages, genders and ethnicities.”

A case in point: Despite starting new businesses faster than any other demographic group, women of color receive only 3% of venture capital while only 1% goers to Black and Latinx founders according to data from American Express. And the academic journal Small Business Economics finds that “profit-maximizing capital suppliers may choose to offer minority clients worse terms than those provided to comparable white customers.”

Earlier this year, Nasdaq put its considerable influence and resources behind a Purpose Initiative aimed at “championing inclusive growth and prosperity and striving to equip women and 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,” according to Jailan Griffiths, president of the Nasdaq Foundation.

The Initiative comprises a wide array of philanthropic, community outreach, sustainability, financial education and employee volunteerism programs, collectively geared toward “democratizing financial knowledge,” Griffiths says. “In that way, underserved communities can be better positioned to access wealth creation and participate in the capital markets.”

Through Nasdaq GoodWorks, now a key component of the Initiative, employees have donated more than 19,000 hours of volunteer time since 2015. And the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial provides mentoring, workshops, networking opportunities and other resources to entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, with specific programs for women and underrepresented minorities

At the center of the Initiative is the relaunch of the Nasdaq Foundation and with it a new mission: to advance diversity in investor engagement. In March, the Foundation announced a wide-ranging program of funding, employee volunteerism and mentorship in support of Operation Hope, a nonprofit focused on financial literacy and empowerment, to help seed and sustain 100 Black-owned businesses.

Looking back on its first half-century, Nasdaq today embraces a forward-looking vision: Reimagining markets to realize the potential of tomorrow. At Carpenter Group we applaud Nasdaq for recognizing that reimagining markets depends more than ever on reimagining investor and entrepreneur engagement.

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The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.

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Our broad cross-discipline experience enables us to craft brand messaging and carry it through to the channels that most effectively connect with our clients’ target audience, from editorial content to advertising to event marketing and more.