NEWARK, NJ - Approximately 250 entrepreneurs walked across a stage at the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Thursday to mark their graduation from a 12-week business program provided by a nonprofit.

Rising Tide Capital - a nonprofit that teaches underserved entrepreneurs how to start, grow and sustain a business - provides the classes through its Community Business Academy. The organization is headquartered in Jersey City and has a hub in Newark.

The outgoing class was taught in both English and Spanish throughout six communities and included Newark entrepreneurs. 

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The academy has helped more than 2,700 entrepreneurs since 2006. Within two years of graduating, entrepreneurs see a 112% increase in sales and a 58% increase in household income, according to Rising Tide Capital.

Speakers of the graduation at NJIT included Newark Community Economic Development Corporation CEO Bernel Hall and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairman Luis De La Hoz.

The keynote address was given by personal finance expert Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche.

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