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    Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center Shares In $640,000 Donation From JPMorgan Chase & Company

    June 13, 2019

    The Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center will share in a $640,000 donation from JPMorgan Chase & Company to support the training of minority and women business owners in metro Atlanta. The gift brings the finance company's total investment in the Entrepreneurship Center's outreach programs, part of the Ascend Atlanta initiative, to $820,500 in two years.

    Ascend 2020 Atlanta is a local business support system that works to increase access to capital, training, and markets for hundreds of minority and women business owners in the metro area. Cohorts of entrepreneurs apply for the opportunity to receive expert advice from professionals in the fields of business management, marketing, finance, and technology who are committed to helping them succeed. 

    The latest investment will expand Ascend Atlanta's outreach to include community-based micro businesses— sole proprietorships with up to two employees—in the Southside of Atlanta and small-to-midsize firms that can support the supply chain of Fortune 500/1000 companies in Georgia. 

    "This is exciting," said Tiffany Bussey, director of the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center. "It gives us a footprint in Georgia and focuses on what we do best — creating leads in our community."
    Under the program expansion, the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center will receive $295,500 from JPMorgan Chase to support the additional services. The center will partner with Tech Square Labs to develop an accelerator program for early-stage technology startups, and provide management training and technical assistance for micro businesses. The center will also offer one-on-one management consulting to help small and midsize businesses secure contracts from large Georgia companies. 
    In addition to the community programs offered at Morehouse College, the following assistance will also be available to Ascend Atlanta partners:
    • Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs will provide small loans to community-based businesses, as well as loans of up to $250,000 for technology startups, and loans of up to $1 million for eligible midsize businesses.
    • Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative will help small businesses in South Atlanta gain access to markets by using its existing relationships with private and public partners, including the Atlanta BeltLine and Invest Atlanta, to inform procurement policies and secure contract opportunities for minority-and-women-owned businesses.
    • Tech Square Labs will lead the recruitment of tech startups, and help small-to-midsize businesses expand their tech offerings. 
    • Village Micro Fund will offer micro businesses back-office support, including legal, accounting, and sales services.

    JPMorgan Chase launched Ascend Atlanta in 2017 through an initial investment of $400,000 to support Morehouse College's Entrepreneurship Center. The inaugural program targeted early-stage, minority tech startups. A year later, the financial partner donated another $125,000 to fund a pilot project that helped entrepreneurs learn to market and sell their products globally. 

    Including donations to other Ascend Atlanta partners, JP Morgan Chase has invested approximately $1 million in the development of local businesses since 2017.

    “I would like to thank our community partner JPMorgan Chase for supporting the programs of the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center, which has become a leader in providing training and expert advice to minorities interested in launching businesses in the technology field,” said Dr. David A. Thomas, President of Morehouse College. “The $1 million investment in the Ascend Atlanta initiative has helped minority entrepreneurs to gain the support necessary to open their doors, hire employees, and improve their products and services so that they can become thriving contributors to the local economy.” 

    Ascend 2020 is currently active in Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The initiative is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $150 million Small Business Forward program to help women, minority and veteran entrepreneurs. Since the program’s launch in late 2016, Ascend 2020 has helped 140 businesses earn a total of $8 million in investments, which includes $5 million in contracts and $3 million in new capital.

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