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For Immediate Release:                                                        Contact: (609) 633-8507

October 19, 2012                                                                    Kristine Brown



Aspiring and Established Women Business Leaders Learn How to Boost Their New Jersey Business at Final Installment of Women’s Entrepreneurship Series


PRINCETON, NJ – Marking the start of National Business Women’s Week (October 22 – 26, 2012), the New Jersey Department of Children and Families’ Division on Women today hosted the final segment of its three-part, year-long Women’s Entrepreneurship Series.   Attended by more than 200 of the state’s aspiring and established women business leaders, the forum, allowed participants to advance their business knowledge through small group classes, question and answer sessions, speaker presentations and networking opportunities.


The morning’s keynote address was provided by Alfa Demmellash, a native of Ethiopia and graduate of Harvard University, who, since 2004 has been the Chief Executive Officer of Rising Tide Capital. Headquartered in Jersey City, the organization runs the Community Business Academy – an intensive business training session coupled with year-round coaching and mentorship aimed at equipping entrepreneurs with the skills to better operate their small business.


 “Alfa Demmellash is a true inspirational model for all women business leaders throughout the Garden State,” said Allison Blake, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. “Alfa has set an example for others to follow by empowering hundreds of New Jersey business owners to achieve self-sufficiency not only for themselves and their families, but for the benefit and progress of their surrounding communities.”


Participants also heard from Carla Fallone, a lifelong New Jersey resident who designed, started, developed, owned and maintained a successful entrepreneurial bakery, cafe, retail and wholesale food services corporation in the state. Today, as owner of Fallone Business Resources, she provides consulting services to fledgling entrepreneurs while also teaching business courses at several colleges throughout the state.


Commissioner Blake said, “Carla’s real-world experience of building and running her own successful business makes her uniquely qualified to share her knowledge and expertise with us today. We are proud to be able to bring such motivational visionaries to the participants of our Women’s Entrepreneurship Series.”


The 2012 NJ WE Series is a free event funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The first two events in the series were held in February and May, 2012.


New Jersey’s estimated 225,200 women-owned businesses generate $43 billion annually for the Garden State economy, according to the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report recently released by American Express.


To honor the contributions of working women and employers who support working women and their families, Business and Professional Women’s Foundation celebrates National Business Women’s Week during the third week of October. The recognition provides an opportunity to call attention to women entrepreneurs, facilitate the discussions on the needs of working women, share information about successful workplace policies, and raise awareness of the resources available for working women in their communities.


For more information on the New Jersey Department of Children and Families’ Division on Women, visit