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Durreen Shahnaz, the founder of world first Social Stock Exchange

When you come-up with an idea to change the things how it is, there is a great chance that someone surrounded by you will oppose you. The level of opposition will turn to the greatest, if the idea is something greatest!

Yes, Professor Durreen Shahnaz (Bengali: দূরীন শাহনাজ), a proud Bangladeshi woman who wanted to change the world with her very special idea, faced barriers to establish her idea into reality. Even her idea was rejected by many countries of the world. But with utmost try, She was able to establish her idea-the world first ‘Social Stock Exchange’, known as ‘Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) in Mauritius. There are two special characteristics of this-the first one is ‘Social Enterprise’ and the second one is ‘Impact Investing’.

As described in the Canberra Times (, “Instead of making maximizing profit, social enterprises use business principles to pursue social and/or environmental missions while also generating a sufficiently robust bottom line to be sustainable, rather than relying on grants from philanthropists and other donors.

Through IIX’s social stock exchange known as Impact Exchange, investors across the world will be able to finance the growth of social enterprises by buying bonds (debt securities) and, within a few years, stocks. These securities will then be openly traded on IIX.”

Shahnaz has built the ecosystem and the IIX has been improving the lives all over Asia. It has converted power plants in Cambodia from diesel to biofuel; built water purification plants in India; provided vocational training in the Philippines; and across Asia the exchange has improved access to affordable housing, credit, clean energy, and low-cost education. Overall, the IIX has reached more than 10 million people — and she believes it has struck significant blows in the war on income inequality.

Her life was a challenging one. She had worked in Morgan Stanly in 1989. However, Morgan Stanly is one among the titans of Wall Street. At that time, very few women were employed in such strong financial institutions. She had founded IIX 5 years after her returning from Wall Street.

She worked as the the ‘chief’ of Asia regions of two renowned magazines-1. HUST Magazine International, 2. Reader’s Digest. This creative person founded another social organization, ‘Onenest’ which created an international market for handicrafts. She had launched a programme on social innovation in Lee Kuan Yu School of Public Policy. Moreover, she had worked in the World Bank loan section through which various services were provided to more than 100 countries.

This noble women, Shahnaz honored by Asia Society as she was recognized as the early member of our Asia 21 Young Leaders Network before and honored with Asia Game Changer Award for social-impact investing that changed the game for millions. She was also honored by one of her alma maters with the Joseph Wharton Award for Social Impact.

In her personal life, she had married to Robert Kraybill. Now she is working in Impact Investment Exchange Asia and National University of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. In her education life, she had completed her MA
from Johns Hopkins University, BA from Smith College, MBA from University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School of United States of America.


Impact Investment Exchange (Asia) Pte. Ltd.
Corporate Headquarters
38 Carpenter Street, Singapore, 059917, Singapore
Phone: 65 6221 7051, Fax: 65 6535 3622

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