Alfa Demmellash is co-founder & CEO of Rising Tide Capital, a New Jersey-based non-profit that provides micro-credit loans and direction for underprivileged entrepreneurs in a low-income urban communities.
Alfa is one of the two Ethiopians nominated to be the CNN hero this year. She was also recognized by President Barack Obama for her passion and commitment to her community. She talked with the Amharic service’s Cultural Mosaic about the work of Rising Tide, and her vision for Ethiopia. Her husband, Alex Forrster is the company’s chief operating officer.
Alfa was motivated by seeing the chronic poverty in urban communities in and around the city of Boston. She also says that this helped her realize her mother's extraordinary efforts juggling between two jobs and running a small sewing business to support her family in the United States and relatives 10,000 miles across the Atlantic. She talked about her personal hero and inspiration, Nobel Peace prize winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus, who helped her shape her ideas on microenterprise.