ImpactAlpha, April 10 – The bank launched Ascend 2020 with $500,000 in 2016 to kick-start investing in women- and minority-owned businesses. The first phase of the program has been implemented in six US cities and will now be expanded to 10 cities over the next three years. Ascend 2020 is a part of JPMorgan Chase’s $150 million grant-funded Small Business Forward program, which is itself part of the bank’s plans to commit $20 billion to small business lending and community investing over the next five years.
- Program participants include… Uli’s Famous Sausage, an immigrant-owned business in Seattle, which secured a credit-union loan based on an improved business plan; and Miss Marjorie’s Plantain Chips, owned by Jamaican immigrant Donna Moodie, which secured a loan to build a manufacturing space and expand its retail operations.
- Ascend 2020 has helped… 140 businesses secure $5 million in contracts and $3 million in investment capital. “The model is really about formalizing access to tailored money, markets, and management training for minority entrepreneurs,” a spokeswoman for JPMorgan told ImpactAlpha.