Skandalaris Center

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JPMorgan Chase & Co/Ascend Grant

Washington University Receives $100,000 Grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co

Washington University is pleased to announce a $100,000 – 1 year planning grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Ascend 2020 Initiative is designed to help women and people of color create and/or scale their businesses.  The Ascend planning grant addresses multiple structural barriers by using a “three M” framework and a collaborative approach which is a differentiator in relation to other programs.  The “three M” stands for “Management Education,” “Access to Money” and “Access to Markets.”

The Ascend planning grant will support the Skandalaris Center in the following ways:

  • Understand the current landscape of support for diverse entrepreneurs and small business start-ups;
  • Identify gaps in support; and
  • Determine the scope and nature of the program to stimulate and support the development of start-ups and sustainable businesses in the St. Louis area.

This grant will allow the Skandalaris center to:

  • Identify existing entrepreneurial support systems in St. Louis for women and people of color;
  • Hold focus groups with startups, founders, women and people of color to:
    • Identify barriers to entrepreneurial development and success.
    • Identify support networks with potential for greatest impact.
  • Form a regional consortium of higher education-based entrepreneurship centers and programs to serve as an expertise hub and talent development pipeline for small businesses led by women and people of color.

If you have an idea, thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, a current entrepreneur, faculty member, business leader or retired executive and have an interest in growing the St. Louis Region and its entrepreneurial ecosystem come get involved!

Please contact Natasha Conley at for additional information.