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The Big Issue’s Big Exchange launches ‘positive difference’ Junior ISA


The Big Exchange, co-founded by The Big Issue, has launched a new kind of Junior Individual Savings Account (JISA) – one that invests only in funds that are proven to be making a positive difference to the environment and society.A recent poll for BBC Newsround revealed that climate change is an important issue for four in five young people aged eight to 16, but nearly three in five feel their voices aren’t being heard. The sustainable JISA gives children the power to use their money, through their parents, for good. And it doesn’t necessarily come with a financial sacrifice – evidence is mounting to show that sustainable funds perform better on average than the wider market.

Whatever cause you and your child are most passionate about – from preserving wildlife and combating climate change to providing social housing for vulnerable people – with The Big Exchange you can help.

There are 40 investment funds to choose from, all rated against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or ‘Global Goals’, which were adopted by world leaders in 2015 as a rallying call to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change.

The Big Exchange has created a unique medal system that gives you a picture of how much positive impact each investment has, with gold having the highest ability to bring about social and environmental change.

Christmas is a time when many people struggle financially, but for those who are lucky enough to have savings, they can use them through The Big Exchange to help create jobs, a fairer financial system and a cleaner, more sustainable planet.

You can invest, tax-free, from just GBP25 a month or a lump sum of GBP100 up to the annual limit for a JISA of GBP9,000. The JISA must be opened and managed by a parent or guardian on behalf of a child under the age of 18, but anyone can pay into it.

In a year when pocket money and Christmas cash gifts are likely to be given by friends and family digitally, the JISA is a chance to teach children the power of investing some of what they have.

Jill Jackson, Managing Director of The Big Exchange, says: “I talked to my 13-year-old son about what a JISA is, and why where he keeps his money matters. He said, ‘So mum, a JISA should actually stand for ‘Just Invest Sustainably, Adults.’ He totally got it. To him, using his money to help the planet rather than harm it is a no-brainer.

“Children will only know how powerful their money can be to do good if we tell them and help them to utilise that power. Once they reach 18, they can see what they have achieved – financially and for the planet – and the baton is passed to them to continue their investing journey.”

Nigel Kershaw OBE, chair of The Big Exchange and of The Big Issue Group, said: “We believe giving a JISA can be truly transformational in helping change the ‘hearts and minds’ of millions of young people who, when they reach 18, will get their financial, environmental and social return. They will not only reap the potential benefits of saving but also know that the financial system can work for them and in all that they believe in”.

Parents can use the interactive online dashboard (followed by a mobile app in early 2021) to track the financial performance of their investment as well as its social and environmental impact.

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