lASHAfrica?s upward swing is being supported by?a growing class of entrepreneurs and the generosity of successful philanthropists of African descent. It is of increased benefit to the continent when it has individuals who can simultaneously play both roles. One of such individuals is?Alfa Demmellash.

A native of Ethiopia, Demmellash grew up on less than a dollar per day. During her time in her native country, she survived an abundance of troubles and conflict, during which Ethiopia lost many of its nationals to civil unrest and strife. Her sufferings were not to last forever though. ?Alfa eventually made her way to the United States, where she honed her entrepreneurial skills by helping her mother turn around her gown making business.

Alfa was later admitted to Harvard University, which she was able to attend due to the generous support of financial assistance. During her time at Harvard, she spent her time trying to find more ways to help alleviate poverty.

Today, Alfa is the CEO of Rising Tide Capital, Inc., a non ? profit located in Jersey City, New Jersey, which mentors small businesses entrepreneurs to ensure that they are maximizing their potentials. The non-profit seeks to assist those who have great ideas, but need the business education and know-how to turn their ideas into a profit.

Rising Tide Capital has since helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses to become self-reliant through its Community Business Academy. Numerous individuals have been trained to be self-reliant and equipped to pay their bills and save money away for the future.

Alfa was recognized as a CNN Hero in 2009 for her role in helping to build the capacity of small businesses and community members through Rising Tide Capital, Inc. She has also been named one of the five Most Powerful Women Changing the World with Philanthropy by Forbes magazine.