Profeta Urban Investment Foundation    
Mission Statement
About Us
Businesses We Support
How to APply
Contact Us

Ancient African Formula

When Aminata Dukuray emigrated from Sierra Leone, her daughter had a scalp problem that doctors could not cure. Aminata cured it using a shea butter home remedy that she put together in her kitchen. Her friends and neighbors saw the results and asked her for help with their own skin issues. Soon the demand blossomed into a budding beauty supply business, so Aminata launched Ancient African Formula. She makes cosmetics from real shea butter imported from Africa, which is the only place that the shea tree grows.

Rutgers-Newark donated a store at 109 Halsey Street, which the Profeta Urban Investment Foundation renovated into a retail outlet for Ancient African Formula. It opened in November of 2014.

Aminata makes and sells shea butter-based lotions, body wash, soaps, shampoo and conditioner for both men and women using traditional methods. In addition, she sells African art, African jewelry and more. For additional information visit or visit her store at 109 Halsey Street, Newark, NJ.

Duke's Southern TableDuke’s Southern Table

Newark has about 275,000 residents of which 150,000 are African Americans. Surprisingly, there was no soul food restaurant in all of downtown Newark to satisfy this population’s need for their own cultural appetite. This huge market was totally unserved.

Newark was once the jazz capital of the country. The largest jazz station in the world is WBGO and it is headquartered on Park Place in Newark. The largest jazz museum in the world is on the Rutgers campus in Newark. Folks in Newark are so starved for jazz that they are hosting concerts inside Baptist Churches. This market was also unserved.

The Profeta Urban Investment Foundation bought Scully’s on Clinton Street along with the liquor license and searched for an entrepreneur partner to open a restaurant/jazz nightclub. Many recommendations led to Vonda McPherson who owned and operated Vonda’s Kitchen on West Kinney Street. Vonda and Paul have partnered in the creation of Duke’s Southern Table at 11 Clinton Street. If you want real homemade soul food and live jazz go to Duke’s Southern Table at 11 Clinton Street.

Cravings, A Caterer

Cravings is a catering company launched by Marisa Blackwell. She is an absolutely spectacular caterer who has a genius for menu creation and cooking. She needed the capital to purchase the necessary cooking equipment in order to operate her business. The Profeta Urban Investment Foundation provided her with the necessary financing. In addition, through the Foundation’s relationships with Rutgers, the Foundation was able to secure the catering contract for the EMBA Program (Rutgers MBA program for returning executives). The Foundation also helped Cravings install a kiosk at the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield cafeteria in Newark and develop relationships with most of the large Newark law firms to cater their lunches and dinners. Cravings is located at 87-A Halsey Street in Newark.

Porta-Print Publishing, Inc.

Peter Learmont opened Porta Print Publishing at 33 Halsey Street, Newark over 30 years ago. His business handles small to medium size print jobs ranging from commercial and advertising projects to more personalized print communications. He offers complete printing and graphic services, including graphic design and illustration, lithography, letterpress, die-cutting, scoring, imprinting in-house binding and finishing services.

Peter had limited, aged equipment and was losing the majority of his profit margin on printing jobs because he was not able to purchase the new, efficient and specialized equipment he needed. The Profeta Urban Investment Foundation loaned him the money to make these purchases. The loan was paid back on time. After the first loan, Peter Learmont approached the Foundation for a second loan for additional equipment. That loan was also made and paid back on time.

Visit or at 33 Halsey Street in Newark and let Peter help you with all your printing needs.

The Coffee CaveCoffee Cave

John Murray launched The Coffee Cave with the help of the Profeta Urban Investment Foundation. The coffee beans are freshly ground making every cup of coffee, espresso and cappuccino an aromatic delight. It is a coffee shop, bistro and nightclub on Halsey Street. Located at 45 Halsey Street, The Coffee Cave also serves delicious Panini sandwiches, homemade soups, muffins, and fruit smoothies. Visit to learn more.

The Intersect Fund

The Profeta Foundation provided seed capital to start this not-for-profit micro-lender that helps budding entrepreneurs. The Intersect Fund helps working people build strong entrepreneurial businesses by helping them find customers, manage cash flow, obtain financing, and stand out in a crowded marketplace. To learn more about The Intersect Fund go to or call Joe Shure at 800-840-1900.

Bridge Builders Newark, LLC

Reverend Gerald Whitaker leads Christ Church Newark. His specialty is to counsel men at high risk, and one of the on-going issues with men in this situation is lack of work. Reverend Whitaker has taken a positive step toward solving that problem by creating Bridge Builders Newark, LLC, a cleaning company that employs his clients. The Profeta Urban Investment Foundation provided the funds for the purchase of the equipment plus introduced him to the proper contacts in order to secure cleaning contracts.

Links English Language Institute

Opacic Snezana (Jana) has been teaching English in the Ironbound since 2002. She ran her own branch of a franchise for many years.

Students in the Ironbound community are often hesitant to leave the area due to the limits imposed upon them by their language barrier. Once they learn English, they can become empowered to pursue better jobs and further education. Learning English can transform their lives and enable them to compete on an equal footing in trying to achieve the American Dream. Jana wanted to realize her vision, of a school of her own design with an outstanding curriculum and highly qualified staff. In 2013 Links English Language Institute was born.

Establishing a school of her own also meant entering the complex process of accreditation. In December 2010 president Obama signed the Accreditation of English Language Training Programs Act, commonly referred to as the Accreditation Act. This is a lengthy process which demands commitment and dedication. It also requires payment of significant fees that any young, small business will consider overwhelming. The Profeta Foundation stepped in at a crucial moment as a mentor and extended its financial support.

Links English Language Institute has succeeded in receiving its accreditation and enjoys the enthusiastic support of is students. They are located at 43 Ferry Street in Newark. Learn more about them at

Tymeless Entertainment, LLC

When Debra Hawks was growing up in Newark she was involved in a “step league” among the various high schools. She thought it was a great afterschool activity. She and her friends had a step team that won the city Championship. Debra is revitalizing step classes and competitions in Newark and the Profeta Urban Investment Foundation is helping her fund the cost of that effort.

Raise Hope Capital, LLC

Raise Hope Capital, LLC is an organization headquartered in downtown Newark that is training disabled veterans to become securities broker dealers. They needed the capital to do a feasibility study and business plan in order to attract capital for a broker dealer license. The Profeta Urban Investment Foundation funded that need. Learn more about them at

Hydroponic Garden

Everyone knows that obesity is one of the major health crises in the country today. Two thirds of the country is obese and 6.3% are actually morbidly obese. These are medical terms. People who are “morbidly obese” are in significant medical risk. This crisis is only exacerbated in the inner city because African Americans have a greater propensity for hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. The problem is compounded by the fact that Newark is really a food desert, populated with fast food burger joints and fried chicken enterprises. It is extremely difficult to find fresh salads and vegetables that are the greatest antidote to these problems and to obesity.

The late Dr. Clement Price had a vacant lot next to his Institute of Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience. The Profeta Urban Investment Foundation wanted to install a hydroponic garden to grow fresh vegetables and salads for the families of Newark. When Dr. Price heard about it he immediately volunteered his vacant lot. The greenhouse and the hydroponic equipment have been ordered and this spring the garden will be launched. The fresh vegetables and salads will be distributed through select churches in Newark in order to get them into the hands of the families that need them.