JPMorgan Chase to invest $1M into Rising Tide Capital to expand nationally

JPMorgan Chase is investing $1 million into New Jersey-based nonprofit Rising Tide Capital for it to expand nationally and share its model of supporting entrepreneurs, the company announced Thursday evening at an event in Jersey City.

The strategy is one co-founders Alex Forrester and Alfa Demmellash have spent 14 years perfecting, and is a two-phased approach.

The first phase is funding for entrepreneur training programs focus on business management, capacity building, future-proofing and mentoring.

The second phase is grants and low-interest financing for business expansion and sustainability.

Within two years, RTC graduates report a 112 percent increases in business sales, a 58 percent increase in household income and 48 percent reduction in the use of public assistance.

“We’re so proud to support Rising Tide Capital and we’re humbled by the incredible work they do every day,” said Jeanique Riche-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 empowers.”

Demmellash said they were excited to work with JPMorgan to expand the program nationally.

“We are enormously grateful to JPMorgan Chase for its continued support and partnership in our efforts to build a more inclusive economy. JPMC’s generous investment in our national expansion is a testament to the success of our holistic model of investing in local entrepreneurs and equipping them with education, tools and resources to solve the challenges facing their communities,” she said.

Former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was also at the event Thursday evening and said she was familiar with the work Rising Tide Capital has done through a public-private partnership the organization had with the previous administration.

“It’s exciting for me to be here today, years later, to see how they have grown, how they have managed to partner with other large institutions, whether it be colleges or banks, and how they are expanding New Jersey across the country,” Guadagno told ROI-NJ. “It’s a great New Jersey story but it’s also a great story for people like us who have an idea and want to make something out of it.”

Especially in a state as diverse as New Jersey.

“True growth comes from small, innovative businesses,” she said. “Small, innovative businesses are diverse, especially here in Jersey City. You see a microcosm of the world here. But what you really see is small business exploding here in the state of New Jersey, and it just happens to be diverse.”

In addition to the $1 million investment, RTC and JPMC awarded more than $30,000 in business grants to the winners of the annual Start Something Challenge. This year’s winners are: Alysis Vasquez, Midnight Market; Java Bradley, Java’s Compost; Erica Cannedy, Embracing Change Counseling Services, LLC; Oniki Cole-Hartman, Oh Niki Occasions, LLC; Alex Sartoga, Garden Steaks.