Wacif’s new Ascend Capital Accelerator was created to address greater economic trends for entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs and help close the access to capital gap.
Ascend enables local entrepreneurs to maximize their ability to obtain and utilize capital. This hands-on, asset-based development program consists of an interactive workshop series combined with small group matching and wraparound individualized support, with the goal of building human and financial assets for local small businesses.
Participants will meet and connect with local business lenders and learn best practices in operations and financial management to ensure they are best positioned to obtain growth capital.
For more information please contact Tim Hampton, Entrepreneurship Coach and Loan Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-529-5505 ext. 222
We are proud to announce below the 24 entrepreneurs in the inaugural cohort of the Ascend Capital Accelerator! The inaugural Ascend cohort includes:
- Sarah Bayot, Kicheko Goods
- Monjia Belizaire, Simply Sustainability
- June Blanks, Junius Cold Brew Coffee Company
- Christina Marie Chambers, Black Pearl Tart
- Cleashay China-Sutton, Studio Elan Salon & Spa
- Anthony Clark, Washington Area Network Services
- Anika Hobbs, Nubian Hueman
- Xanthia Johnson, Urban Playology
- Vernestine Laughinghouse, Absolute Organizing Solutions
- Lindsay Larner, The Cookie Jar DC
- Emma Hidem Mankey, Sunnyside VR
- Diana Movius, Dance Loft on 14
- Victoria Pratt, TRUE Syrups & Garnishes
- Jennifer Richardson, Chef Jess
- Nona Richardson, MitchRich Communications
- William Scurry, 7 Pointe Planning
- JC Smith, Bailiwick Clothing Company
- Mallory Sweetbaum, Mallory Shelter Jewelry
- Michele S. Swinson, Aprilmay Company, Inc.
- Theresa Watts, Lettie Gooch Enterprises
- John-Mark Williams, Future Leaders & Young Entrepreneurs (FLYE)
- Marcus Williams, MW Consulting
- Catherine Wood, Unbounded Potential
- Rahama Wright, Shea Yeleen Health and Beauty
Program Delivery: Participants will complete the program through various forms of learning including; individual coaching, classroom training, site visits, and mentoring.
- Program lasts eight (8) weeks
- A weekly commitment of four (4) hours should be expected
- Core competencies will be developed around: (1) finance and capital readiness, (2) marketing and sales, (3) operations and management, and (4) business model optimization.
Minority and women entrepreneurs continue to face barriers to start or grow their small business.
In the District of Columbia the wealth gap is more of a chasm. White households have a Net Worth 81 times greater than the Districts black households.1
More likely to be denied
Minority-owned businesses are three times more likely to be denied credit2
Value by Race
White-owned businesses in DC are valued 3.7x as high as businesses owned by people of color. This is 1.8x higher than the national average3
Value by Gender
Male-owned businesses in DC are valued 3.4x as high as businesses owned by women. Nationally, this ranks DC in the bottom 1/34
Made possible through the generous support of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, Capital One, Citi Community Development, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.