GWSB Announces New Local Partnership for Minority Business Enterprise Education

November 9, 2020


ELEVATE banner

The George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) is partnering with the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED) to provide training for local entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C. through a new program. ELEVATE, which stands for Executive Leadership Education Venture Advancing Talented Entrepreneurs, aims to provide best-in-class training to minority-owned small businesses located in the D.C. area to acquire new skills that will allow them to more effectively and efficiently manage their business’ products and services and increase revenue and employment.

The ELEVATE curriculum, developed by GWSB's Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE) and led by faculty members George Solomon and Ayman El Tarabishy, will provide training to minority small businesses in the District of Columbia to prepare them to more effectively and efficiently manage their business’ products and services and increase revenue and employment. The curriculum will be informed by a needs and training gap assessment focused on providing the skill set to manage a small minority business focused on competing in the institutional and/or government procurement sectors. Three core curriculum elements that will be highlighted include a set of standardized business skills, a specialized track for contracting and procurement with anchor institutions and corporations, and a unique diagnostic tool to assess the strengths and needs of individual businesses. 

"Entrepreneurs are the foundation of our economy and our community vitality,” said Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business. “Designed to educate business owners and leaders who are already making an impact, ELEVATE will empower and connect the community of D.C. entrepreneurs. We are thrilled to partner with CNHED and Ascend to promote this to benefit our community.”  

The first cohort in the program, commencing in February 2021, will be part of JPMorgan Chase’s national Ascend program, which is an initiative incubated in Seattle, headquartered at the University of Washington Foster School of Business and funded by JPMorgan Chase to support minority-owned small businesses. Ascend’s goal is to formalize business education, consulting services and partnerships with anchor institutions like the GW School of Business that are committed to increase spending with minority-owned firms over the next three years. CNHED is responsible for administration of the Ascend program in the District of Columbia. 

ELEVATE Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a registered business and located in the District of Columbia
  • Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE)
  • Minimum 51% minority-ownership

Must additionally meet at least two of the following three criteria:

  • In business for at least five or more years
  • Minimum of 10 full-time employees
  • Annual revenue of $500K or more 

"CNHED is delighted to partner with the GW School of Business to build the capacity of small and minority businesses in the District,” says Stephen Glaude, CNHED President and CEO. “Strengthening our local business community through the expertise available from GW will advance Minority Business Enterprises’ impact and competitiveness in local, regional and national markets.”

Applications for the ELEVATE curriculum will open on Monday, Nov. 9 and close on Monday, Dec. 21. Interested and qualified MBEs are encouraged to connect with CNHED and apply.  

About the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development

The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED) advances community development solutions that address the inequity of under-resourced communities in the District of Columbia. As a dynamic, 501(c)3 member association, CNHED supports the nonprofit housing and economic development industry in Washington, DC. Since its inception in 2000, the organization has grown from 55 organizations to nearly 180 today. CNHED’s strength is in its convening power, highly successful advocacy, robust communications and information sharing, and equipping its members with tools and resources for their work. CNHED’s organizational members include nonprofit and for-profit affordable housing developers, housing counseling and service agencies, community economic development organizations, workforce and business development entities, lenders, intermediaries, and government agencies.

About CFEE at the George Washington University School of Business

Established in 2005, the Center For Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE) at the George Washington University School of Business strives to empower entrepreneurs by integrating academic objectives within GW’s business community. CFEE engages in research and other scholarly activities that make significant contributions to the fields of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurial leadership, women’s entrepreneurial leadership, and new venture development. CFEE works with the GW School of Business and the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), among other partners, to advance GWSB's nationally-recognized achievements in the field of entrepreneurship education and to further promote entrepreneurship among students and throughout communities.

About Ascend

Ascend is a national initiative that provides minority-owned and women-owned businesses access to capital, public and private market opportunities and advanced management education. Ascend connects minority entrepreneurs to business schools, suppliers and community partners to improve access to the 3-Ms: management strength (through business education), markets (business-to-business and consumers), and money (seed capital, flexible credit and equity investment). Ascend was developed by the University of Washington Foster School of Business. It links business schools, business service-providing organizations and Community Development Financial Institutions to provide tools and resources that are not always available to businesses in underserved neighborhoods.