Rising Tide Capital Uses MicroTest for First Time
JERSEY CITY, NJ – Rising Tide Capital (RTC) is using industry-standard MicroTest for the first time in the organization’s history. This will enable the organization to evaluate its programs and their impact on the entrepreneurs it serves.
MicroTest, a two-part management tool that measures microenterprise program performance and the changes clients have undergone since initially enrolling in an organization’s programs, is an initiative of the Microenterprise Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning and Dissemination (FIELD).
The first phase of MicroTest, program performance, has already been completed by RTC. In the program performance stage, the ultimate goal is to see how many clients were served in 2009, and how they were served. The second phase of the MicroTest, the client outcomes survey, targets 2008 Community Business Academy (CBA) graduates (99 people graduated in 2008) and seeks to find out what changes have taken place in their lives regarding their business and income since completing the CBA. Of the 99 graduates, about 45 graduates have been surveyed thus far.
Led by RTC Core volunteer Aarti Jaisinghani, volunteers are the backbone of this project and are working tirelessly to conduct surveys and record data. Some of the other volunteers who have been instrumental on this project include Christelle Levasseur, Nicole Israel, Louisa Wandabwa and Andrea Forrester.
Once the surveys have been completed, the raw data will be sent back to the Aspen Institute, who will then compile a detailed report based on the findings (completion of data collection is slated for July 30, 2010).
“We’re hoping to reach at least 70% of our clients,” Director of Program Evaluation and project manager Farah Omer said. “This has truly been an exciting project. We’ve been getting a lot of really great data from our clients, in fact, by reaching out to clients who we may have not interacted with recently, we have been able to make some valuable reconnections,” she added. The data acquired from the MicroTest project is essential for the growth of RTC, according to COO Alex Forrester.
“At RTC we think it’s very important to be able to measure the impact that we are having in the community so that we can improve our programs each year. We’ve joined FIELD to begin reporting our annual programming results to educate national policymakers on the importance of initiatives like Rising Tide Capital. We are also excited to be able to communicate with our partners and donors about the long-term impact they are having in the community through their relationships with us,” Forrester said.
MicroTest is a management tool that helps microenterprise agencies gauge and improve their performance and client outcomes. MicroTest was founded on the belief that widespread use of microenterprise standards will improve performance and organizational stability within the industry, increase the availability of efficient and effective services for clients, and help to make the case for increasing levels of support for effective microenterprise programs. MicroTest is an initiative of FIELD, a project of the Economic Opportunities Program (EOP), which is a policy program housed at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.
About Rising Tide Capital
Rising Tide Capital is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization based in Jersey City, New Jersey, dedicated to the economic empowerment of low-income communities through entrepreneurship. Our mission is to assist struggling entrepreneurs and distressed communities build strong businesses that transform lives, strengthen families and create thriving, sustainable neighborhoods.
For more information about Rising Tide Capital, please visit www.RisingTideCapital.org