Help Desk becomes available to Community Business Academy Graduates
Rising Tide Capital (RTC) celebrated the launch of its newest Business Acceleration Services (BAS) program with organic quiche and smooth jazz at Made with Love Bakery in Jersey City on September 14. With the launch of the Help Desk, graduates of Rising Tide Capital’s Community Business Academy (CBA) will only be a phone call away from an array of specialists covering business topics from marketing to microfinance.
“We’ve wanted something like this for a long time,” said Roger Cervantes who will be coordinating the new Help Desk out of Rising Tide Capital’s (RTC) Jersey City office, “Rising Tide Capital has always had a great team of business coaches but we noticed that a lot of our clients were getting stuck with specific issues- website designs, financial plans, copyright laws. That’s when we realized we needed something more comprehensive.”
The idea for a Help Desk combining the expertise of multiple specialists had been floating the RTC office for years. “Then it spontaneously combusted,” said Cervantes. “After years of planning, we finally had the right people at the right time.”
The team of specialists includes a colorful group of Rising Tide Capital (RTC) staff, volunteers, and CBA alumni. When Dorothy M. David wanted to start her own accounting business in 2006, she joined the first CBA class in Jersey City. Since then, she has been helping fellow CBA alumni and has most recently, joined RTC as a Help Desk Specialist focusing on accounting and bookkeeping.
“It feels good to be a part of this new initiative,” said David who came to the bakery Thursday evening to network with other RTC members, “RTC has done a lot to help my own business grow so I’m happy to have this opportunity to be helpful for others.”
Since the CBA was founded in 2006, over 400 clients have completed the course which covers all the topics entrepreneurs need to master in order to start a business. Graduates become part of a growing network of entrepreneurs called Club CEO who have access to a number of Business Acceleration Services including workshops, selling opportunities, networking events, and most recently, the RTC Help Desk.
With the arrival of the Help Desk, business owners have access to three types of consultants: general business coaches, project-based consultants, and professionals such as lawyers and accountants. While prices range for these services, all of the consultants are committed to providing [services] for CBA graduates below the market price starting as low as $10 an hour.
“When I heard about it, I said, “That’s just what I need!” I’ve reached out to other businesses for help before but they’re either too busy or don’t get back to you. Now with the Help Desk, you always know there’s someone there on the other line,” said Natalie Thomas, the chef and CEO of Save Your Soul Food, an East Orange catering business which specializes in fried fish and country-style macaroni and cheese.
“It also helps that the services are affordable,” added Thomas who is planning to use the Help Desk for marketing advice.
To see photos from the launch event click here.