First minority-owned stock exchange aims to boost Black businesses, economic equality

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Web Desk
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is displayed on a screen after the markets closed at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, US, December 17, 2021.—Reuters
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is displayed on a screen after the markets closed at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, US, December 17, 2021.—Reuters

The inaugural minority-owned stock exchange, known as the Dream Exchange, is paving the way to make the stock market more inclusive, particularly for people of colour who historically face limited access to capital, Scripps News reported. 

The driving force behind this initiative is to provide smaller companies, often neglected in traditional markets, with the advantages and prosperity associated with being publicly traded.

Dream Exchange co-founder, Kyles, emphasised the mission to focus on smaller companies that have been left behind, especially those led by entrepreneurs of color. The goal is to reshape the narrative so that emerging businesses, ten years from now, consider the Dream Exchange as a viable source of capital for their growth.

Access to capital is a primary obstacle for companies seeking success, and this challenge is exacerbated for people of colour. A mere 0.2% of New York Stock Exchange companies are minority-owned, a statistic that the Dream Exchange seeks to overturn by investing in companies from underserved communities.

The founders, Cecala and Kyles, envision a ripple effect, addressing unequal access to wealth. Drawing inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Kyles stressed the importance of economic parity for achieving equality. 

They believe that economic parity can be achieved when companies from diverse backgrounds are listed on a stock exchange, as highlighted by the US Treasury Department Task Force, indicating that 92% of jobs within a company are created when it goes public.

Taking their vision further, Kyles and Cecala are collaborating with Congress to advance the Main Street Growth Act. 

This legislation aims to establish 'venture exchanges,' channelling additional capital to smaller, growing, minority-owned companies and promoting the broader understanding that the stock market is for everyone, contributing to overall community well-being and economic prosperity.