Where Opportunity Meets Growth
People of color and women, start businesses at higher rates than their counterparts — but they are constrained by structural inequities and often overlooked by mainstream funders and partners. We partner with, and mentor, underestimated Houston entrepreneurs to accelerate great businesses, and build an economy that works for all.
Ascend Houston assists Houston-based businesses in strengthening their management skills, accessing money, and growing market connections in a tailored approach to maximize their unique opportunities.
Our Three-M Model
Businesses owned by people of color face access gaps.
The median White-owned firm has revenue 1.5x that of the median Latinx-owned firm and 5x that of the median African American-owned firm.
Three-M Model Tailored For You
Innovative Management Training
Ascend Houston’s customized coaching approach provides the feedback, accountability, challenge, and support to drive long-term business results. This is accomplished by building on each business’s management capacity, encouraging networking, innovative thinking, and collective learning.
Increased Market opportunities with local institutions
Ascend Houston brings together a powerful Advisory Council and Procurement Board to share best practices and lessons learned, ensuring local businesses are well connected with contracts. Ensuring public and private companies play an active role in the economic development of their local communities.
Enhanced Money access through community finance partners
Ascend Houston bridges the need for financing, LiftFund connects local businesses with capital to manage contracts and achieve sustainable growth.
Propelling Businesses to Prosperity
Ascend Houston is powered by JPMorgan Chase and in a collaborative effort between the lead agency, LiftFund, the City of Houston, Houston Community College (HCC), the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Minority Business Development Center (MBDA), The Construction Contractor’s College, The BridgePath and Local Banks. Our goal is to create multiple pathways to new opportunities, assist with securing additional revenue, and to provide enhanced direction to business management.
Our Impact: At a Glance
Business Education Courses
Minority and Women Contractors
“Ascend Houston has helped tremendously. They have illuminated all of the weak spots in my business plan and my approach to business, but they just didn’t tell me the weak spots, they gave me the road map on how to succeed…”
– Zachery Martin
“I have no doubt that the Ascend Program will become one of the best premiere programs in the city of Houston.”
– J. Frank Lopez
“We are grateful to Ascend. We learned so much. We met so many people. We had many opportunities to network.”
– Geri Zamora