Alfa Demmellash

Born and raised in Ethiopia, Alfa lives in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. She is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Rising Tide Capital, a non-profit organization that provides underserved entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch and grow successful businesses. Since 2005 the organization has operated the Community Business Academy, a 12-week course that provides intensive business management training coupled with year-round coaching and mentorship, now serving a network of more than 3,000 entrepreneurs in New Jersey as well as Illinois, South Carolina and North Carolina, with more in planning stages. Corporate, foundation, and government funders underwrite the cost of tuition and services for all participants; 70% are women of color. By building successful businesses, entrepreneurs meet their families’ basic needs, create opportunities for social mobility, and help transform their local communities into thriving economies.

Alfa is also the Co-Founder of Future Tide Partners, which equips cross-sector leaders to shift capital, policy and culture in a rapidly changing world of work towards an inclusive, flourishing future economy. She was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2015 and has appeared in leading media outlets including CNN, O the Oprah Magazine, Essence Magazine, Bloomberg, Inc. Magazine, the Suze Orman show, BusinessWeek and Entrepreneur Magazine. She has been recognized by President Barack Obama; received the prestigious 25th Heinz Award in the Technology, the Economy and Employment category; and was named a CNN Hero and one of the Most Powerful Women Changing the World in Forbes. She currently serves as a Commissioner on the New Jersey Future of Work Task Force and is a board member of the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.