A Mission to Change Capital Markets: Mission Markets

Have you ever wanted to invest in a company that focuses on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profits?  Or are you a triple bottom line based company that seeks capital?   It is difficult to find a marketplace where sustainability minded investors and businesses can meet.  This is about to get easier.

Looking through the thousands of company listings on the NYSE or NASDAQ, it is difficult to find companies meeting triple bottom line criteria.  Sure, there are companies listed that are sustainability oriented, such as Whole Foods Market (WFMI), Tesla Motors (TSLA), and Chipotle (CMG).  Even then, the company’s data showcased is only the hard lined numbers, nothing about social or environmental impact.

Obtaining capital for a sustainable business is just as challenging.  There is a disparity between expectations, where traditional investors typically desire high capital returns rather quickly, yet sustainable businesses think and act for the long term.  The traditional market exchanges are not too receptive to the sustainable business model.
Start up Mission Markets seeks to change the investment dynamic, by creating a private exchange for the social and environmental capital markets.  It’s like a grassroots approach to investing.  The Mission Markets stated mission is: “to create a marketplace that improves the flow of capital for sustainable investments that generate measurable social and environmental impacts thereby improving humanity and life on earth.”  This sounds quite consistent with the triple bottom line of people, planet, an profits.

The exciting part is that, unlike the NYSE and NASDAQ, every single offering on the Mission Markets exchange lives and breathes sustainability.  Each offering has the traditional financial reporting.  Even better, each offering is also required to report social and environmental impact from a pre-selected list of third party ARC (accreditations, ratings, and certifications), for example, B survey, LEED, or Fair Trade Certification.  It’s the social, environmental, and financial metrics all in one spot.

Offerings include both the social and the environmental.  Social capital markets include local community investment, global micro-finance, social enterprises, sustainable agriculture, social investment funds, and cooperatives.  Environmental capital markets include, cleantech, climate change, conservation finance, sustainable fisheries, environmental investment funds, and sustainable infrastructure.

Ready to invest?  Not so fast.  There is a caveat.  Just like any private investment, unless you are an accredited investor (an income of $200,000 per year or net worth over $1 million.), you can’t directly participate.  However, one way to invest is to find an broker-dealer that uses Mission Markets.

Ready to be listed as a offering?  It’s quite possible, granted your company meets the minimum listing requirements.

Will Mission Markets displace the NYSE or NASDAQ?  Probably not.  But will it fill a void in the marketplace for sustainability?   Most likely.  With start up Mission Markets, it is now easier to find a marketplace where sustainability minded investors and businesses can meet.

Jonathan Mariano is an MBA candidate with the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, CA. His interests include the convergence between lean & green and pursuing free-market based sustainable solutions.

One response

  1. Great article Jonathan! Mission Markets is definitely doing a great thing and offers an excellent option for green investors who want to put their money where their mouth is!

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