This Mover & Shaker is a trailblazing high energy community leader who recognizes that great communities require great effort. He believes that business owners and entrepreneurs are the cornerstones of our community. He’s an active entrepreneur, non-profit advocate, job creator and one local to watch. We are honored and proud to spotlight Wilmingtonian, Tom Abel, as a Top 10 North Delaware Mover & Shaker of 2015.
Job growth, community development, economic opportunity all depend on the ability of business to grow and flourish. As banks continue to be unwilling to lend to businesses most in need of capital, Tom used his experience and expertise to launch a new business venture, Market Street Funders, which helps match small businesses in need of capital with funding sources. To date, they have provided millions in funding to businesses nationally and locally.
Tom has also helped to launch and manage almost half a dozen local, startup ventures which currently employ over 100 full time people. He generously lends his expertise to a wide variety of early stage ventures including companies in the sports, entertainment, health and wellness, and technology sectors. He is active in the non-profit world and currently sits on the Boards of Suiting Warriors, Light Up the Queen Foundation, and the William P. Frank Scholarship Foundation. He runs a family foundation dedicated to the to eradication of child poverty and has served as the past President of the Ministry of Caring Guild. Tom has been recognized by all levels of government for his commitment to the community, children, and veterans.
Tom and his wife, Liz, also co-founded Free+Abel, a wellness company focused on natural, nutrition based solutions to health.
Q&A with Tom Abel
NDH: The person who nominated you gave us 3 reasons why you should be nominated as a Mover & Shaker. Now we would like to hear it from you. Tell us three reasons why you are a Mover & Shaker.
- Commitment to making Northern Delaware a great community and place to live and work
- Active entrepreneur, non-profit advocate, and job creator
- Focus on the support and expansion of small businesses locally and nationally as means to improving our communities
NDH: Movers & Shakers are visionaries. What projects are you working on for future achievement?
Tom: We are one year into building a national small business lending marketplace that will improve the speed, efficiency, and cost of working capital for small businesses.
“America’s greatest strength is its culture of ingenuity and innovation. Our singular mission is to match entrepreneurial passion with the capital necessary to fuel it. American business owners, the innovators and entrepreneurs of our time, are critical to our future
prosperity and competitiveness.”
– Tom Abel, Founder www.marketstreetfunders.com
NDH: Have you faced any serious challenges along the way that you would like to share?
Tom: All of them. We are essentially a start up so it has been a wild ride. As entrepreneurs we know first hand, no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy and business plans are out-dated the moment they are completed. Survival, and success for that matter, is largely based on being able to pivot quickly – understand what is working or not working – and reacting. The slower you are to react, the greater the chances you may miss an opportunity or fail to change course when necessary. 12 months after our launch, the “what” and “why” of our business model have remained consistent, but the “how” is unrecognizable when compared to the original plan. If we had remained committed to the “how” we would have closed our doors after 6 months. Staying true to “what” we do and “why” we do it gave us the strategic perspective to pivot when our initial delivery channels weren’t working. Too many business owners become dogmatic about “how” and lose sight of the “what” and “why”.
NDH: What local organizations, events or clubs are you currently involved with?
NDH: What attracted you to these organizations?
Tom: Great communities require great effort. I selected organizations that care for the most vulnerable in our community (MOC), serve the men and women who protect us and our freedom (SW), and bring culture to our city (LUTQ).
NDH: Who or what inspired you to get involved in those organizations? Do you have a mentor?
Tom: Of course, no one can do it alone. I have surrounded my self with great coaches and mentors, people smarter and wiser than me, and people who challenge me and don’t buy my bullshit. It can be tough on the ego at times, but I don’t know any other way to learn and grow.
NDH: What’s your favorite North Delaware event?
Tom: Shine a Light on the Queen – every February – features over 50 amazing local musicians.
“This is what 1,000 people partying at Shine A Light On 1976 looks like!” Tom Abel
NDH: What’s your go-to spot for dinner or night life?
Tom: Anejo Tequila Bar in Trolley Square Wilmington
Tom with Market Street Funders Co-founder, Erik Williams, at Anejo enjoying some time away from work at a Suiting Warriors benefit
NDH: How do you feel about being named as a Nominee of Movers & Shakers in North Delaware?
Tom: It’s a great honor. We live in a community full of amazing people and inspiring stories, to be recognized in any capacity is very special.
- Delaware Today Top 40 Under 40
- 2015 Boys and Girls Club of DE, Youth of the Year Host
- 2013 & 2014 DFRC Annual Event Host
- Ministry of Caring Giving Bowl Award Winner
- ESGR Patriotic Employer of the Year
- MS Society of Delaware Top Fundraiser / National Representative
- Wilmington Friends School Middle School Lacrosse Coach
Stay Connected with Tom
- Linked In
- Facebook facebook.com/marketstreetfunders
- Twitter twitter.com/MarketStFunders
Thank You Tom Abel!
For all you do for our North Delaware communities and beyond.
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