Unleash Prosperity in Underserved Neighborhoods Through the Power of Entrepreneurship
One in five residents in Jersey City live below the federal poverty rate, especially in urban neighborhoods. Many of these individuals are employed, but covering housing, groceries, transportation, and other necessities isn't enough to take care of a family. Thus, there's isn't an opportunity to break free. This is caused by underemployment or "working poverty" — wherein individuals are employed but the wages are too low or the hours are too thin. Families work hard but remain stuck, hopeless, and exhausted while barely scraping by.
Rising Tide Capital leverages the principles of entrepreneurship to empower people caught in poverty to become entrepreneurs, launch a business, and create new income and jobs themselves. Through an innovative three-part approach, RTC invests human capital, social capital, and financial capital to discover, train, and set up entrepreneurs for success. The cofounders, Alfa Demmellash and Alex Forrester, founded RTC on shared vision and values: 1) everyone is infinitely valuable, 2) entrepreneurship is for everyone not just the elite, and 3) communities are transformed by social capital.
Rising Tide Capital's model has scaled massively and garnered nationwide attention. The organization graduated 15 entrepreneurs from its Community Business Academy its first year. Today, it graduates 600 entrepreneurs per year — a growth multiplier of 40X!
A whopping 87 percent of RTC businesses survive past 5 years, compared to the US average of 50 percent.
Reliance upon public assistance reduces by 56 percent in graduates' families. In fact, the household experiences an average 49 percent increase in income over the first two years after graduating, initiating generational wealth in place of generational poverty.
Lastly, for every $1 invested in RTC, the community receives $3.80 in economic impact.