Melissa Bradley, Founder of New Capitalist

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Spotlight Spotlight interviews advocates, community leaders and policymakers who have dedicated their careers to improving our communities, our nation and the world.

Melissa L. Bradley has a strong track record of creative and innovative leadership and a background as a social entrepreneur. Melissa serves as Founder and Managing Director of New Capitalist™, an organization that leverages human, financial and social capital to create economically profitable and sustainable individuals, businesses, and communities.

Who inspired you to do the work you are doing?

My mother is my inspiration. As a single mom who worked many jobs including cleaning houses, she demonstrated the importance of a strong work ethic, along with a commitment to helping others – even when you do not have a lot.

What is the biggest challenge facing the United States and how would you fix it?

Poverty is a huge challenge in America. Comprised of many complex issues – including housing, education and employment, the structural barriers that oppress so many members of our society are unacceptable. It is critical that local, regional and national leaders find ways to eradicate poverty, especially for the millions of young people who are its victims today.

Where can we find more of your work?

Check out or to learn more.

What advice do you have for young people interested in your field?

Service is a tremendous privilege; to be able to help others and work within mission-oriented organizations is a great thing. However, do not be naïve in thinking they are perfect. There is bureaucracy and challenges in all organizations. My advice is to be patient, stay focused on the mission, and know that many great minds are aligned with yours in making the world a better place, even when actions seem counter to that premise in the moment.

How do you find balance with a career as demanding as yours?

I struggle to find balance on a daily basis. I am fortunate that my work is my passion so it is often hard to “turn it off.” A few ways I find balance include spending time with my 6-year old twin girls, playing golf or enjoying a great meal with family and friends.

What is your favorite book?

My favorite classic is The Great Gatsby (original version). Recent texts that have interested me include Bet The Farm: How Food Stopped Being Food and How to Be Black.

What do you when you are not saving the world?

I hang out with my 6-year old twin girls and listen to their thoughts and perspective on the world, as well as watch cartoons.

What are your comfort foods?

Pizza, macaroni and cheese, and french fries

Who is your favorite musician?

Nancy Wilson is my favorite songstress. I also love Regina Carter, jazz violinist.