| by James Francis Scott

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FMS Spotlight: James Francis Scott
James Francis Scott, Middlebury College IPE ‘19

Middlebury College Senior, James Francis Scott, shares his experience as a student in the Frontier Market Scouts Certificate Program. 

Tell us about yourself.

My name is James Scott and I am a senior at Middlebury College studying International Politics & Economics and Spanish. Hailing from San Francisco, I grew up immediately exposed to the world of tech and entrepreneurship—for better or for worse. From a young age, I have had dreams of starting my own business someday, which, during my time at Middlebury, has morphed into a tangential passion for equipping entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to gain autonomy and empowerment.

Why did you enroll in the Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) Certificate Program? 

I decided to enroll in FMS because: 1.) my experience researching and implementing innovative and disruptive practices in the coffee industry intersected with impact investing and social enterprise (à la Root Capital, for example) and 2.) I wanted to learn more about how to divert different forms of capital to capacitate historically overlooked entrepreneurs.

“I found myself especially inspired by FMS Instructor Morgan Simon’s bottom-up, human-centered, and collaborative approach to utilizing capital to stimulate measurable social change.”
— James Francis Scott

What was your biggest take away from FMS?   

After the 10 days of intensive classes, I left privy to both the successes and challenges of impact investing. Moreover, I discovered that, under the umbrella term, there are numerous approximations to and strategies behind impact investing. Although I garnered insights from every instructor, I found myself especially inspired by Morgan Simon’s bottom-up, human-centered, and collaborative approach to utilizing capital to stimulate measurable social change.

How has the FMS training changed your perspective on impact investing/social enterprise?

In order to gain more operational knowledge of small social enterprises, I have been exploring job opportunities in the Bay Area that focus around market research, business development, and partnership management for mission-driven startups whose values align with my own. Down the line, I hope to open my own multi-purpose café/community center/innovation hub centered around the four pillars of Hip-Hop.

Do you have any advice for other students considering FMS?

I would highly recommend applying to FMS because I would not have the same direction and path were it not for my ten days in Monterey.