IIX and Shujog share a heritage deeply rooted in the belief that capital markets can create social good for the world.
Based in Singapore and founded by Professor Durreen Shahnaz, an investment banker-media executive-turned-social entrepreneur from Bangladesh, IIX and Shujog’s history began in Asia.
The inspiration for IIX and Shujog is a culmination of Prof. Shahnaz’s career spanning over two decades, starting with her time at Morgan Stanley. At Morgan Stanley, Prof. Shahnaz learned how access to capital markets can enable companies to grow. With her knowledge from Wall Street, she joined Grameen Bank in her native country, Bangladesh, and her finance background was deployed to work in the most rural parts of the country.
It was during this time she saw firsthand the frustrating experiences of Grameen borrowers, who defaulted on loans due to the lack of market access to sell their products. This propelled Prof. Shahnaz to create her first company, oneNest, an online global wholesale marketplace for handmade goods from around the world. While building up oneNest, Prof. Shahnaz recognized another compelling trend in the market: a lack of investors who can help companies with social and environmental missions grow.
After selling oneNest, Prof. Shahnaz returned to Asia from the US and settled in Singapore. While teaching Social Innovation and Social Finance at the Lee Kuan Yew School at the National University of Singapore, she began exploring the notion of creating a stock exchange for SEs that would eliminate many of the barriers to market opportunity that currently exist and help them scale to their full potential. While the idea was in its very early conception, the Rockefeller Foundation came across her writings on the topic and promptly became the first organization to support the creation of IIX.
The growth of IIX and Shujog has been propelled by hundreds of well wishers and volunteers from around the world. IIX and Shujog are also honored to have their work receive the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB).