Emmy-award winner and co-president of the NoVo Foundation Peter Buffet joined Jersey City-based philanthropy Rising Tide Capital at its annual ‘RISE: To Expand Opportunity’ event on Thursday.
The event was held at Mack-Cali’s Harborside Plaza and also served as the culmination of the Rising Tide Start Something Challenge, where women entrepreneurs pitch and compete for up to $25,000 grant provided by Rising Tide Capital.
“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 percent increase in business sales, a 47 percent increase in household income, and a 56 percent reduction in the use of public assistance.”
The Top 3 award winners are listed below:
Brittany Graziosi – Jersey City Oddities
Graziosi, the founder of Jersey City Oddities, was awarded first place at the Stat Something Challenge. Her pitch, Jersey City Oddities, is a pop up event that provides a marketplace for crafters and artists. According to Rising Tide, her pitch takes out the risk for artists from spending on vendor fees where their product may not appeal to the customer demographic.
Bjenaba Johnson – Hudson Kitchen
Bjenaba’s Hudson Kitchen, a business incubator that helps food entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses, won second place at the competition. Her pitch includes workshops networking events and consulting services that, in the near future, will be hosted at a physical location that will also allow entrepreneurs to rent kitchen space for production.
Aiesha Phillips – Pink Pearls Naturals
Phillips’ Pink Pearls Naturals pitched handmade body care products that use responsibly sourced materials and organic ingredients. Pink Pearl Naturals does not make any water-based product, which eliminates the need for chemical preservatives. The products can also be adjusted to any particular skin concern.
“We are proud to support the transformative work that Rising Tide Capital is doing in some of our nation’s most economically vulnerable communities,” said Buffett, co-president of the NoVo Foundation. “The work of Rising Tide Capital aligns perfectly with the mission of the NoVo Foundation n 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.”
Midnight Market, co-founded by Rising Tide Capital alum Alysis Vazquez organized the event at Harborside Plaza.