JPMorgan announced that it will donate $2.5 million to help expand the reach of the Ascend 2020 program over the next 3 years.  This donation will increase the support levels of the organization and boost the number of operating cities from 6 to 10.

According to the Ascend 2020 organization, the “median white-owned small business has revenue five times larger than the median African American-owned firm and revenue 1.5 times larger than the median Latino-owned company.”  The Ascend 2020 program looks to bridge the gap by supporting minority owned businesses throughout America.

According to Black Enterprise, “Ascend 2020 is an initiative to provide capital to minority-owned small businesses and help them land contracts with anchor institutions like hospitals, school systems, and universities.”  The program is currently active in Atlanta, the Bay Area of California, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington DC.  The next 4 cities of expansion are not known at this time.

Ascend 2020 is a key part of JPMorgan Chase’s $150 million Small Business Forward program, designed to help women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs. “The initiative connects minority entrepreneurs to business schools, suppliers, and community partners to improve access to management strength via business education, business and consumer markets, and money including credit and equity investment.”

As of 2018, the program has helped over 100 businesses earn $8 million in investments, $5 million in contracts, and $3 million in new capital.