Anne-Marie Saint-John, Alva, Long Island City, NY >

Ascendus in 2023: A Transformational Moment

NEW YORK – March 4th, 2024 – In 2023 Ascendus experienced a transformational moment of growth, innovation, and impact. We supported 8,950 small businesses nationwide, providing $59 million in loan capital to 1,348 individuals. Our annual lending volume by dollars has quadrupled since 2019. Through these loans, our clients supported the creation and retention of more than 3,700 jobs.

We focused on our mission and the populations we serve:

  • 83% of our clients were Entrepreneurs of Color
  • 70% of our clients were low-to moderate-income
  • 6.923 small business owners benefitted from 10,000 hours of direct counseling
  • 2,027 small business owners benefitted from group-based coaching opportunities through in-person events, workshops, and webinars.

We grew our innovative product offerings, expanded to Michigan and Georgia, and celebrated our 20th anniversary in Florida. We launched a first in the nation Microinsurance Program that clients do not pay for. The pilot program provided clients in New York City with $100,000 in Life and AD&D (accidental death and dismemberment) microinsurance when they received a loan. In addition, our Line of Credit and Get Ready programs expanded to Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Michigan, and Georgia and served 100% entrepreneurs of color.

  • Microinsurance Program: We delivered $9.4 million in coverage to 94 small business owners.
  • Line of Credit Program: We delivered $1.8 million in capital to 106 small business owners. 100% of clients served through the program were entrepreneurs of color
  • Childcare Provider Initiative: We delivered $1.7 million in capital to 90 small business owners.
  • Get Ready Line of Credit: We delivered $53,300 in capital to 69 small business owners.
We deployed $42 million to 680 small business owners through Partnership Programs, including the New York City Opportunity Fund, the New York Forward Loan Fund, and the Entrepreneurs of Color Loan Fund. Ascendus was recognized as a leader in our field and awarded the highly prestigious 2023 Bank of America Neighborhood Builder award. Our entire staff began the process of becoming certified credit coaches through our partnership with Credit Builders Alliance. We spearheaded a new impact framework, and told the stories of our clients through Stories of Ascension: Lifting UP Community. Finally, through our financial health impact framework we tracked the health of our client’s business – business survival, cashflow monitoring, and job creation and retention, and we tracked the financial health of the business owner – household income, credit, and a financial health survey created by the Financial Health Network. Thank you for joining us on our journey of growth, innovation, and impact.



About Ascendus

Ascendus has a bold vision of financial ascension for all. Our mission is to empower low-to-moderate income business owners with access to capital and financial education. Since our inception over 30 years ago, we’ve dispersed $395 million in capital to 56,000 small business owners – primarily BIPOC, women, and immigrants.

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