DC’s Ascend 2020 program will be an extension of the work that Project 500 launched in 2016 to increase revenues, profits, and new hires for at least 100 resident-owned businesses in Wards 7 and 8. The emphasis will be on growing business management skills and financial capacity.


Established in 1789, Georgetown is the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. The McDonough School of Business’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) leads the school’s Ascend 2020 program by bringing the power and innovation generated by cross-sector partnerships to bear on growing businesses in Washington, DC’s Wards 7 and 8.

Project 500 is a DC based training program to help historically marginalized businesses scale in terms of revenue, staff and investment retained. Our goal is to recruit and retain up to 500 businesses to receive hands on training, capacity building, mentoring and networking to advance the economic success of their businesses and their communities.

The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) is a nonprofit community loan fund. Since 1987 they’ve empowered underserved communities in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area by providing access to capital and expertise to entrepreneurs and community organizations. Wacif enables these entrepreneurial men and women to open a small business, expand child care, and strengthen the region’s affordable housing and other community organizations.

LEDC’s mission is to drive the economic and social advancement of low- to moderate- income Latinos and other underserved communities in the D.C. and Baltimore Metropolitan Areas by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial independence and become leaders in their communities

Join D.C. Ascend 2020

We would love to hear about your business or organization. Apply here to receive more information about ways your organization can be involved with Ascend 20220.