Wacif Launches Third Cohort of Ascend Capital Accelerator

Program helps entrepreneurs access growth capital, knowledge, and relationships

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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 pursues 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), representing industries from green infrastructure maintenance to general contracting, and supporting 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:



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


Genell Anderson


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.

Source: Washington Area Community Investment Fund


Categories: Emerging Businesses

Tags: advisory services, D.C., DC, entrepreneurship, equity, inclusion, small business, Washington

About Washington Area Community Investment Fund

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Brendon Miller
Director of Development and Communications, Washington Area Community Investment Fund
Washington Area Community Investment Fund
2012 Rhode Island Avenue, Northeast
Washington, DC 20018