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Urban League to offer entrepreneurship training

The Urban League of Rochester has partnered with a New Jersey-based firm to offer entrepreneurship training.

Rising Tide Capital will begin offering its award-winning Community Business Academy (CBA) in Rochester this fall as part of a partnership with the Urban League, the firm said this week. The program is designed to equip under-resourced and nontraditional entrepreneurs with the training and resources to build sustainable businesses that directly benefit their neighborhoods.

“We are excited to begin this new chapter for Rising Tide as we bring our Community Business Academy to parts of the country teeming with entrepreneurial promise. Through partnerships with local, community-based organizations we can ensure our model meets the unique needs of these regions,” said Alfa Demmellash, co-founder and CEO of Rising Tide Capital. “For over 15 years, Rising Tide Capital built and refined the CBA model in New Jersey and through our first pilot model in Chicago. Their success demonstrated that this local empowerment model is effective and popular. Entrepreneurship knows no boundaries, and this opportunity should be accessible to anyone who can benefit from it, regardless of identity, background or geography. Our goal is to build partnerships and collaborations in all 50 states that seek to transform communities and grow opportunities from within.”

The average Rising Tide Capital entrepreneur is a single mother of two earning at least $20,000 less than what is needed to achieve self-sufficiency. The cornerstone of Rising Tide Capital’s model is the CBA, an intensive 12-week training program for entrepreneurs on how to start, grow and sustain a business.

The program began in 2006 with 15 participants and since then, the Academy has produced more than 3,000 graduates in New Jersey and the surrounding regions. Officials noted that within two years of graduating, Rising Tide’s entrepreneurs achieve a 95 percent increase in their business sales, a 63 percent increase in household income and a 59 percent reduction in the use of public assistance.

In addition to Rochester, Rising Tide recently expanded to Willmar, Minn., Alexandria, La., and Palm Beach County, Fla. The latest cohort will train more than 100 entrepreneurs over the coming year, adding to the nearly 2000 expected to graduate from the Rising Tide Network in 2021.

The Urban League is currently accepting applications for its Fall 2021 CBA class.

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