Impact investing is defined differently by different investors, but generally speaking it is the designation of investment capital toward commercial businesses that make a positive, sustainable impact on the underprivileged, society as a whole, social causes, or environmental issues – while also making a profit. Creating a healthy, profitable business is key, because without a profit engine it won’t be sustainable. And when you combine a profitable commercial business that has been formed with benevolent intentions from inception, the impact can be very significant.
Scott has partnered with other US, Canadian and Jamaican partners to create businesses in Jamaica that not only provide jobs for rural grassroots Jamaicans, but which also provide donations based on a percentage of profits. To receive and manage the donations, Scott has teamed up with a longtime Jamaican friend who was a Director of the American Foundation for UWI (the University of the West Indies) and they have in turn partnered with Rastafarian and Maroon leaders to start two charitable foundations for the benefit of poor rural communities.
After the catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, Scott Cathcart and his business partners went to Port-au-Prince within weeks. In partnership with Maersk, for the largest shipping company in the world, and as a former member of the Board of Directors of the global commercial modular building industry trade association, Scott was uniquely positioned to help bring critical replacement facilities and other infrastructure to the country on a rapid-deployment basis.
After visiting the J/P HRO Petionville refugee camp outside of Port-au-Prince with Shakira, and learning about her humanitarian initiatives for the education of impoverished children with her Barefoot Foundation, Scott and his partners were inspired to build a new school at their own expense for 250 Haitian students. Regrettably, the school facility – even though fully constructed at a modular building facility in Texas – was ultimately never able to be delivered to Haiti because of land title issues (most of the government’s land title records for the country had been buried in the earthquake).