Rising Tide Capital helps entrepreneurs grow and build businesses in New Jersey

Seeing how underemployment and working poverty holds back individuals and families in low-income and urban environments, Rising Tide Capital (RTC) looked for a solution to help people work toward and achieve their business dreams, transforming their upward economic mobility and the lives of those around them.

Established in 2004, RTC’s business management and support programs have done just that: within two years of graduating, RTC entrepreneurs experience a 112% increase in business revenue and a 58% increase in household income on average.

RTC was named a Bank of America Neighborhood Builder in 2013. As a Neighborhood Builder award recipient, RTC received $200,000 in flexible grant funding as well as leadership development and training for its executive director and an emerging leader in the organization. Since then, RTC has grown into an organization that operates in seven cities across New Jersey. The organization has graduated more than 2,000 entrepreneurs from its business management programs, and in 2017 alone, RTC entrepreneurs created 426 new jobs.

“Bank of America has played an incredible role in the life of Rising Tide Capital. They were the first group to take a chance on this dream that we had,” says Alex Forrester, Rising Tide Capital co-founder and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer. “The Neighborhood Builders award enabled us to bring to life the larger vision we had for our organization.”

RTC intends to broaden their impact even further through their National Program Partnership initiative, which is already bringing their model to entrepreneurs in Chicago. The organization is also purchasing permanent headquarters in Jersey City, with classroom, meeting and co-working spaces for RTC programming. In 2019, the organization will also formally launch a new division dedicated to innovation to spark further social and economic transformation.

"The Neighborhood Builders award gave us the power to dream big. The unrestricted funds, the leadership training and the network of other leaders, it was transformational," says Alfa Demmellash, CEO and Co-founder of RTC.

Since 2004, Bank of America's Neighborhood Builders program has helped advance sustainable communities by investing more than $220 million in 49 communities – partnering with more than 1,000 nonprofits and more than 2,000 nonprofit leaders and counting.

Learn more about how the Neighborhood Builders program helps nonprofit partners advance economic mobility and supports skills development for nonprofit leaders, powering nonprofits like Rising Tide Capital to build thriving communities.