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Grant Program Engage Communities in Markets and Entrepreneurship

The Nasdaq Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of Nasdaq, recently announced a new quarterly program for grant-giving across the U.S. It will also host new research collaborations with the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program and Commonwealth, a U.S. non-profit focused on financial security. Both initiatives will contribute to the Nasdaq Foundation’s reimagined mission to engage under-represented communities. Providing financial knowledge and solutions will allow everyone to share in the wealth that capital markets create.

Creating accessibility

The Nasdaq Foundation’s grant program will engage with organizations and communities across the U.S. Grants will focus on groups driving tangible progress toward more accessible investor engagement and entrepreneurship. Funding will be available by application and allocated on a quarterly basis. This supports existing programs as well as new flagship programs designed in collaboration with the Nasdaq Foundation. Grant guidelines can be found on the Foundation’s website.

Supporting Black-owned businesses

To mark the launch of the Nasdaq Foundation’s grant program, Nasdaq has committed support to Operation HOPE, a non-profit focused on financial literacy and empowerment. Nasdaq will provide financial support, employee hours and mentorship for Operation HOPE. Together, they will help seed and sustain 100 Black-owned businesses. Nasdaq is also supporting Herndon Directors Institute as part of Nasdaq’s continued commitment to inclusive corporate leadership.

“We aim to partner with organizations to remove the barriers faced by under-represented communities as they sustain wealth,” said Jailan Griffiths, President of the Nasdaq Foundation and Head of the Purpose Initiative at Nasdaq. “The goal of our grant giving program is to make markets more accessible for emerging entrepreneurs and investors. Democratizing financial knowledge would engage under-represented communities and better equipped to access wealth creation and participate in the capital markets.”

Compiling research to engage with communities

The Nasdaq Foundation’s collaboration with Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program and Commonwealth will use the research capabilities of both organizations. Along with Nasdaq’s background, they can identify solutions to remove barriers limiting access to the capital markets. The research insights from the collaboration will influence the design of future programs created and funded by the Nasdaq Foundation.

“While the U.S. has the world’s deepest capital markets, we also have historic levels of wealth inequality,” said Ida Rademacher, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program. “It is possible to write a new chapter in the future of wealth and ownership in this country. It will be one marked by more inclusive growth and more deeply shared prosperity. We applaud the Nasdaq Foundation’s leadership and commitment to this cause. We look forward to working with them to develop insights that will support their work and the broader investment community.”  

“Current conditions are ideal for innovation to make the investment ecosystem more accessible to new investors. This is especially true for women, Black and Latinx people,” said Timothy Flacke, Executive Director of Commonwealth. “In a society built on financial markets and capital, removing participation barriers could change everything.”

To view the Nasdaq Purpose Initiative’s 2020 Impact Report, please visit their website.

About Nasdaq

Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Its diverse offering of data, analytics, software, and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit its website.

About the Nasdaq Foundation

Relaunched in 2020, the Nasdaq Foundation’s mission will leverage Nasdaq’s role in the capital markets to equip under-represented communities with the financial knowledge to build a prosperous future and participate in an ecosystem that supports and sustains their growth.

About Aspen Institute Financial Security Program

The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program’s mission is to illuminate and solve the most critical financial challenges facing American households and to make financial security for all a top national priority. It aims for nothing less than a more inclusive economy with reduced wealth inequality and shared prosperity. It believes that transformational change requires innovation, trust, leadership, and entrepreneurial thinking. Aspen FSP galvanizes a diverse set of leaders across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to solve the most critical financial challenges. It accomplishes this through deep, deliberate private and public dialogues and by elevating evidence-based research and solutions that will strengthen the financial health and security of financially vulnerable Americans.

About Commonwealth

Commonwealth is a national nonprofit building financial security and opportunity for financially vulnerable people through innovation and partnerships to change systems. Black, Latinx and Female-led households disproportionately experience financial insecurity due in large part to longstanding, systemic racism and gender discrimination. Commonwealth’s collaborations with consumers, the financial services industry, fintechs, employers, policymakers and mission-driven organizations result in solutions that are grounded in real life and based on a deep understanding of financially vulnerable people. Commonwealth has designed effective innovations, products, and policies enabling over 750,000 people to accumulate more than $3 billion in savings. For more information, visit this website.

About Operation HOPE, Inc:

Operation HOPE is a financial inclusion organization for the underserved, and “America’s Financial Coach for All”. Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights.” It aims to free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved. This will disrupt poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Operation HOPE pioneered financial literacy in the banking sector, and inspired President George W. Bush to make financial literacy the policy of the U.S. Federal Government.

Through its community uplift model, HOPE Inside, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities. It turned check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors.

Its programmatic approach to expanding opportunity for all aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its seventh consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information, visit its website.

About Herndon Directors Institute

The Herndon Directors Institute is a program of The Herndon Foundation and a partnership with America’s leading corporations and organizations proactively aligned to expand minority board member participation. All costs for tuition for the Herndon Directors Institute represents a fully paid Fellowship to those accepted for admission. Visit here for more info.