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Ascend

Hispanic and Latino Business Accelerator Program

LEAP, with support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and in partnership with Best Practices Consulting Solutions, launched Ascend: a Hispanic and Latino Business Accelerator Program, an entrepreneurial support program focused on revenue, profitability, and prominence. 

The program involves empowering, refining, enhancing and scaling 8 Hispanic and Latino businesses in a 6-month accelerator program with individualized business assessment, customized workplan development and one-on-one technical assistance. 

Program Goal

Ascend’s main goal is to help Hispanic x Latino business owners improve and maximize operational efficiency and heighten business sophistication to drive increased profitability and revenue. 

Why?

Latino-owned businesses continue to face challenges in securing the capital they need to grow and scale, despite their growing economic potential. According to the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI), Latino business owners are 60 percent less likely to receive approval for a $100,000 loan when compared to their non-Hispanic White counterparts. By addressing the racial wealth gap by 2028 alone, U.S. GDP stands to grow by an estimated $1.5 trillion, or 6% of its current level. 

The Ascend program strives to not only raise awareness of this deficit, but to provide Hispanic and Latino business owners with resources and programming that has historically been hard to access due to systemic barriers. 

Program Benefits

  • No cost to participate.
  • Become a member of an all Hispanic and Latino cohort of business owners at LEAP.
  • Members receive a custom work plan, designed to accelerate their business with trackable milestones.
  • Monthly round table peer discussions to network and idea share with program participants.
  • Opportunity to network with Hispanic and Latino Executives.
  • Access to language support, as needed. 
  • Collaboration on a social media campaign— designed to advertise your business across LEAP’s platforms and audiences.
  • Opportunity to be featured at the 2024 517 Hispanic Heritage weekend and/or the 2024 Lansing Latino Business Expo.
  • Your businesses will be promoted to the myriad of businesses across multiple sectors that make up the LEAP membership board.   

Eligibility

  • All participants will identify as Hispanic or Latino.
  • Applicants must be for profit pre-established business owners— while LEAP offers programming for entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey, Ascend is an established business accelerator. 
  • Applicants must have a business that has operated for one year or more with consistent revenue. 
  • Business must be founded or registered in the Lansing region comprised of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties in Michigan.
  • Business must not be a franchise nor affiliated with a national chain.

Program Timeline

Applications open: January 18, 2024

Applications close: February 9, 2024 at 5PM

Program start: April 10

Program ends: Late October