Financial Equity and Opportunity Begins with Access to Cash.

“At Ascendus, we know that the ability to borrow is essential for financial health.  However, borrowing can be limited or unobtainable for many Black entrepreneurs with challenged credit.  For this reason, we created a line of credit products that helps Black entrepreneurs ‘Get Ready’ for small business borrowing and onto the path of greater financial health,” 

– Paul Quintero, CEO of Ascendus

Learn More About the Get Ready Program

Born in 1867, Madam C.J. Walker became the first Black self-made millionaire in a time when racial and political inequalities stacked the odds of success against people of color and women. Walker built an empire for herself selling cosmetics and hair care for Black women to treat dandruff and skin disorders.  She was known for her financial success as well as her philanthropy and activism; she employed several thousand women as sales representatives, educated Black women on how to budget and build financial independence, and served as a source of inspiration in the lives she touched both then and now.

Black History Month is an important time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Black individuals like Madam C.J. Walker.  This month, we are highlighting one of the many incredible Black business owners who Ascendus has had the pleasure of supporting: Emelyn Stuart, of Stuart Cinema and Cafe in Brooklyn, NY.

Photo of Emily Filmmaker

Emelyn’s care for her community shines through in all she does at Stuart Cinema and Cafe.  From lowering ticket prices to match the median income of her community to providing laptops and educational resources to assist others with unemployment during the pandemic, Emelyn has undoubtedly made an impact on the lives of those around her.

Her focus remains on helping minority filmmakers and creatives. She hopes to continue using her earnings to create spaces and opportunities that are affordable and accessible to those that are disadvantaged.

You can read more about Emelyn’s story here.

Ascendus is ​​committed to empowering local heroes like Emelyn with the loans and resources they need to compete and thrive.  With the launch of the Get Ready Program, Ascendus is now providing an initial $500 line of credit that grows to $5,000 within 6 months, along with one-on-one support, for Black small business owners.

stories of ascension

Click to watch, and learn more about the incredible businesses that successfully navigated the pandemic with Ascendus.


SAYBLEE is an organic, vegan, certified hair care product line made from all-natural ingredients – delivering the benefits of nature and the advancement of science to promote healthy, sustainable beauty.

Harlem Chocolate Factory Logo

Harlem Chocolate Factory is an artisan chocolate company that conveys the various cultural experiences of Harlem through their chocolate products. Founded in 2015, their goal is to bring diverse voices to the forefront of the chocolate industry.

Egunsi Food Logo

Egunsi Foods is a black-owned business that brings West African flavors to the table. Their soups and sauces are preservative-free and made with fresh, local ingredients. With vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options, they’re a great choice for any diet.

Get Ready Business Line of Credit

No FICO minimum! This line of credit product is designed for African American small business owners ready to improve their credit and invest in their business. The Get Ready Line of Credit starts at $500 for the first 6 months and grows to $5,000 with good repayment and completion of a credit action plan. Offered at 13.99%.
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Ascendus Credit Coaching

Free tailored credit coaching for all current clients that are interested in our Get Ready Loan product. Training sessions will include credit building, debt management tailored to long- and short-term goals, prioritizing debt repayment, budget assessment, and assessment for current credit building programs.
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Small Business Flex Fund

Supported by the Washington State Department of Commerce, the SBFF helps small businesses and nonprofits access funds at a competitive interest rate.
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CT Small Business Boost Fund

Supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development, this fund links Connecticut small businesses and nonprofits to financial support.
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Childcare Business Development

Ascendus is now offering loans up to $50,000 for licensed childcare businesses at a 9.99% interest rate. Qualified Businesses can be found nationwide, excluding Vermont. If you have been in business for more than three years, you can access up to $20,000 in fast-track financing at the same interest rate within 48 hours. No paperwork is needed to apply.

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Rideshare Business Term Loan and Line of Credit

Loans up to $15,000 in financing for rideshare businesses are offered at 9.99%. Qualified businesses will be in CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, or RI. Or access a line of credit up to $10,000 in fast-track financing at the same interest rate.
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0% loans up to $50,000 with only $25 monthly payments for the first 12 months for restaurants creating safe and equitable work environments for their employees.
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One-on-one Personal Finance Coaching where and when you need it, available through our partnership with Trust Plus, a national nonprofit with three decades of experience.
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