Jersey City, NJ (PRWEB) December 12, 2013
Tuesday night, Shazi Visram--who has been called a “Rock star of the New Economy” by President Barack Obama--was recognized as the 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year by Jersey City non-profit Rising Tide Capital at their Start Something Champions Gala. Visram was recognized for her leadership as a woman entrepreneur and her dedication to mentoring young, aspiring entrepreneurs from underserved communities.
“I am so honored and happy to be recognized at Rising Tide Capital’s annual celebration of entrepreneurship. I know firsthand how hard it is to build a business, especially when you don’t feel like you have the support. You can have the best idea and resources in the world but a lack of confidence can sometimes hold you back. Rising Tide Capital serves as a mentor and support system to entrepreneurs in New Jersey and beyond, allowing aspiring entrepreneurs to confidently start their businesses,” said Shazi Visram, founder and CEO of Happy Family.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, in 2012 there were an estimated 7.8 million companies owned by women in the United States. These companies employ 13 million workers and generate $1.2 trillion in sales every year. Happy Family--which was launched on Mother’s day in 2006--has 58 full time employees, including 75 part-time working moms, and is on track to earn $100 million in revenue in 2013.
Visram was raised by two entrepreneurs from Tanzania and Pakistan and founded Happy Family to provide an affordable, organic, and flavorful alternative to store-bought baby food. A passionate supporter of health and sustainability—Visram has partnered with various organizations to fight against hunger and provide the safest and most environmentally friendly options available. A portion of every sale of Happy Family’s products is donated to the fight against world hunger.
“Shazi’s work with Happy Family resonates deeply with Rising Tide Capital’s mission of supporting underserved entrepreneurs to start and grow successful businesses. Sixty-eight percent of our entrepreneurs are ‘mom-preneurs,’ working to strengthen their families’ financial circumstances,” said Co-Founder and CEO Alfa Demmellash. “Not only are her story and success inspiring to all of our entrepreneurs, but we are also thrilled to honor her commitment to mothers and women entrepreneurs at our annual celebration of entrepreneurship.”
Darice Toon, director of the Jersey City Division of Community Development also received the 2013 Founder’s Award. Other honorees included Saint Peter’s University and JPMorgan Chase who have been instrumental in supporting Rising Tide Capital’s mission of providing knowledge, social and financial capital to underserved entrepreneurs.
The three winners of the Start Something Challenge—a business strengthening opportunity for New Jersey entrepreneurs—also received awards totaling $25,000 yesterday evening. The Challenge and gala were underwritten by several collaborating organizations—including JPMorgan Chase, the Tory Burch Foundation and the Sheri Sobrato Fund—as part of their commitment to small businesses and entrepreneurship in New Jersey.
ABOUT START SOMETHING CHALLENGE
The Start Something Challenge (SSC) is a statewide pitch competition and business strengthening opportunity for New Jersey entrepreneurs. The Challenge is funded by visionary supporters and organized by Rising Tide Capital, a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses. To ensure that every participant has a chance to win the top prize, Rising Tide Capital will provide each entrant with hands-on coaching and mentorship. Free to enter, the competition is open to any New Jersey resident 18 years or older, who operates a microbusiness or has a strong business idea. In 2013, 107 entrepreneurs from 38 towns and cities representing 13 counties in New Jersey completed applications for the Start Something Challenge.
To learn more, visit http://www.StartSomethingChallenge.org today.
ABOUT RISING TIDE CAPITAL
Rising Tide Capital (RTC) is a Jersey City-based nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by Harvard graduates Alex Forrester and Alfa Demmellash. RTC helps entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses by providing a 12-week Community Business Academy—supplemented by year-around workshops, coaching and networking events. These programs are currently offered in Spanish and in English in four cities across Northern New Jersey: Jersey City, Newark, Union City, and Orange Township. RTC’s model of entrepreneurship development has received national recognition from President Obama to CNN Heroes. To learn more, visit http://www.RisingTideCapital.org.