Wacif Launches Third Cohort of Ascend Capital Accelerator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 7, 2019

Brendon Miller, (202) 529-5505 ext. 224

Wacif Launches Third Cohort of Ascend Capital Accelerator

Program helps entrepreneurs access growth capital, knowledge, and relationships


Washington, D.C.) – The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) today launched the third cohort of its Ascend Capital Accelerator, a program that positions underrepresented entrepreneurs to accelerate growth, access capital, and pursue business opportunities.

“Equity is at the center of our work, and equipping entrepreneurs with the knowledge and social capital that they need makes the financial capital we provide even more catalytic,” said Wacif Executive Director Harold Pettigrew. “The Ascend Capital Accelerator is central to our efforts to drive equitable economic opportunity and inclusive entrepreneurship in the Washington, D.C. region.”

The Ascend Capital Accelerator provides underrepresented entrepreneurs with the ability to accelerate business growth, access and obtain capital, and pursue new business opportunities. Ascend is a hands-on, 10-week, asset-based development program that consists of an interactive workshop series combined with small group matching and individualized support. Wacif launched the first cohort of the Ascend Capital Accelerator in 2017 and has graduated 33 entrepreneurs from the program.

Ascend entrepreneurs include some of the region’s most exciting local brands, including Bailiwick Clothing, Pratt Standard Cocktail Company, Nubian Hueman, Lettie Gooch, Kicheko Goods, and The Dough Jar. Cohort 2 graduate Bill Reddick, of Plenary Enterprises, joined Mayor Bowser to announce the city’s Small Business Enterprise spending commitments. The current cohort of 13 entrepreneurs consists 100% of entrepreneurs of color and 8 female founders (and 2 female co-founders), represents industries from green infrastructure maintenance to general contracting, and supports 142 local jobs.

The Ascend Capital Accelerator is made possible through the generous support of various funders including the DC Department of Housing and Community Development and JPMorgan Chase. To learn more about becoming an Ascend Entrepreneur, visit www.wacif.org/ascend and reach out to our Small Business Advisors at intake@wacif.org

Below are the entrepreneurs in the third cohort of the Ascend Capital Accelerator:

Company Owner
Nai Xander Alicia Jefferson
Battle’s Transportation, Inc. McKinley Battle
TCG Property Care Inc. Wade Cassamajor, Krystal Talley, Samuel Augustin
SouthEast Restaurant Group, LLC Melvin Hines
Brick & Story LLC LaToya Thomas
C. L.Russell Group, LLC Connie Gorum
AMAR Group, LLC Genell Anderson
RJ ELECTRIC WORKS INC Richard Sheler, Donna Sheler, Eleanor Sheler
Ergo Solutions LLC Jason Henderson, Olu Ezeani, Courtland Wyatt
Washington Digital Media Ricardo Villalba
Soul Source, Inc DBA Anglin Consulting Group Yashieka Anglin
Garner & Associates LLC Nicole Garner
Capital View General Construction Inc. DBA Mitchell Heating and Cooling Yimaj Kalifa



About the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif)

The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) is one of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area’s leading Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) focused on small business development. Wacif’s mission is to increase equity and economic opportunity in underserved communities in the Washington, D.C. area by investing knowledge, social, and financial capital in low-and moderate-income entrepreneurs. In the last seven years, Wacif has closed more than $9.2 million in loans and assisted over 2,000 entrepreneurs with coaching and technical assistance, sustaining more than 300 local jobs. Learn more at http://wacif.org.

One Comment

  1. WACIF cohorts collaborated on the Documentary Film “I Am A Martial Autist”. Washington Digital Media Ricardo O. Villalba and Ergo Solutions Jason Henderson have connected to produce a film about Health Disparities in Washington DC. The rise of Autism Spectrum Disorder have been brought to the forefront of how its affects children of Color in DC. The film focus on professionals how demonstrate social responsibility to a community that needs attention. Through martial arts children are developing new skills to socialize, improve executive function and physical abilities. Don’t miss the Plenary discussion at the Virtual Red Carpet Event this Sunday. Get your tickets at http://www.icefyremartialarts.com


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