Martin Muoto, founder of Sola Impact is doing everything he can to revitalize South Los Angeles through affordable housing and opportunities under his mantra, “doing well by doing good.”
The 48-year-old professional investor, entrepreneur, and business executive has spent the last 13 years revitalizing East and South Los Angeles’s toughest neighborhoods to improve the living quality of hundreds of residents.
Having grown up in Nigeria until 18-years-old, Muoto left his home country to study business at the University of Pennsylvania, recalling it as a tough transition. However, he was encouraged by his father who also studied abroad in Poland.
I grew up in Northern Nigeria. I grew up around a lot of poverty and it gave me a sense of desperation and lack of education, leading to bad outcomes. Being a minority, being from a minority environment, I’ve always felt very comfortable in LA.”
With the support of his family, he submerged himself in his studies. After graduation, he scored a job at a very respected investment firm that would essentially set him up for his later success. Also learning an important lesson in self-worth stating, “go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.”
He soon began working for himself, which was when Sola Impact was created along with friend Gray Lusk. Sola Impact’s agenda does more than provide housing but exposes youth to entrepreneurs, business professionals and more who have successfully transformed their habits, passions, and skills into functioning business.
Muoto says a big part of everything he does, is aiding in moving the community forward. “We want to make sure kids have exposure,” Muoto says. “Part of our agenda is really to bring that together, in the efforts of exposing and inspiring the community to strive for more.”
“My resources, my energy, the little talent I have I want to apply it to folks that have been disadvantaged and really need the help,” he shares.
Muoto is excited about the future and the impact of his company. With the help of his passionate team, he expresses how they are building a blueprint for a system that can be used globally. “We feel we are one component to a much larger solution,” said Muoto.
Tying his purpose into the mission of Sola Impact has helped him stay extremely passionate overall. Follow what he calls the four P’s; profit, purpose, passion, and pragmatism, Muoto has found a way to live his life and create a business that crosses each path.
“I think we’re all trying to figure out how to balance those four objectives in our professional lives,” he expresses. “For me, it’s very easy to be completely invested.”
“For me, my journey was really experiencing, and you can’t think or analyze your way in, you have to experience it,” Muoto says. “The biggest joy of my life is doing what we [Sola Impact] do, and then realizing this is exactly where I should be in my life.”
Editor’s Note: Article revised from original printed version.