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Jersey City Non-Profit Rising Tide Capital and Its Entrepreneurs Received a Big Boost Last Night from Peter Buffett, Philanthropist and Son of Legendary Investor Warren Buffett

Esther Fraser
November 03, 2017

On November 2nd, philanthropist, Emmy-award winning composer, and musician, Peter Buffett hosted a private concert and conversation to benefit Rising Tide Capital, a non-profit dedicated to transforming disadvantaged communities and lives through entrepreneurship. The event, “RISE: To Expand Entrepreneurship,” also featured a midnight market themed festival organized by Midnight Market, a Jersey City small business co-founded by a Rising Tide Capital Community Business Academy graduate. The unique event was designed to showcase and promote the organization’s community of entrepreneurs and to raise funds to help the organization expand its work. All of the food vendors at the festival were Rising Tide Capital entrepreneurs and most of the goods and services for the event were purchased from these local businesses.

“We are proud to support the transformative work that Rising Tide Capital is doing in some of our nation’s most economically vulnerable communities,” stated Peter Buffett, co-president of the NoVo Foundation. “The work of Rising Tide Capital aligns perfectly with the mission of the NoVo Foundation in that we are committed to developing the capacities in people—individually and collectively—to help create a more equitable society. Providing programs and resources to help underserved entrepreneurs to start, sustain, and grow businesses can offer a powerful pathway for people to lift themselves out of poverty and improve their own communities.”

“We are immensely grateful to the Novo Foundation, under the leadership of Jennifer and Peter Buffett, for its long-time support in helping us to build more inclusive economies through entrepreneurship,” said Alfa Demmellash, co-founder and CEO of Rising Tide Capital. “The meaningful work that we do is only possible because of the support of individuals and organizations that share our values and believe in our vision. Our collaboration with Jennifer and Peter and the NoVo Foundation will enable us to have a greater impact on the communities that we serve and to replicate our work in economically marginalized areas across the United States. We are proud that the graduates of our nationally recognized Community Business Academy experience a 64% increase in business sales, a 47% increase in household income, and a 56% reduction in the use of public assistance.”

“RISE: To Expand Opportunity,” which took place at Harborside Plaza 3 Atrium in Jersey City, also served as the culminating event for Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something Challenge, an annual business pitch competition where entrepreneurs can win up to $10,000. This year’s winners, Brittany Graziosi, founder of Jersey City Oddities Market, Djenaba Johnson-Jones, founder of Hudson Kitchen, and Aiesha Phillips, founder of Pink Pearl Naturals, were presented with checks by JPMorgan Chase in the amounts of $10,000, $7,500, and $5,000 respectively. Over the past 6 years, over 500 individuals from across New Jersey have entered the competition and the winning entrepreneurs have been awarded with approximately $150,000 in grants to support and grow their businesses.

“We’re so proud of our support of Rising Tide Capital and humbled by the incredible work they do every day,” added Jeanique Druses, Vice President of Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase. “Empowering and supporting local entrepreneurs is a vital component of transforming underserved communities, which is why Rising Tide Capital’s work is so needed. Congratulations to the winners of the Start Something Challenge and all of the truly inspiring local entrepreneurs that Rising Tide Capital supports.”

Principal sponsors of the event are JPMorgan Chase, NJ Advance Media, RWJBarnabas Health, Silverman, and TD+Partners.

About Rising Tide Capital
RTC is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey with offices in Newark and Orange. The organization is also in the South Side of Chicago through a replication partnership with a local non-profit. RTC has four primary programs: the Community Business Academy, the Start Something Challenge, Credit to Capital, and Business Acceleration Services. All of these programs are aimed at helping entrepreneurs to achieve self-sufficiency, thrive, and deliver value to their communities. RTC’s model is unique in that it offers ongoing mentoring and support to ensure sustainability. RTC’s work has been recognized by CNN, the World Economic Forum, and President Obama at the White House.

To learn more about RTC, visit