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Accelerating impact

for growth-stage


Investment readiness support for women & non-binary founders

The Ascend programme focuses on investment readiness, business and funding advice, investment relationship brokerage, and aftercare support. It aims to identify women and non-binary led businesses that are at a fast-growth stage and require funding to scale. The programme aims to move these businesses to the next level by introducing them to connections and opportunities.

The overall objective of the Ascend programme is to support 35 businesses with high growth potential, helping them secure the necessary funding and connections to scale their operations and reach their full potential.

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Our three-stage application process ensures that applicants and their businesses are at the right stage of their journey to gain the maximum benefit from this amazing opportunity. To apply successfully, it's important to meet the application criteria and ensure your business aligns with the programme's requirements

What you 
need to know

Your Business

  • Revenue-generating and/or VC backed

  • Planning to raise funding within the next 12-18 months, £250,000+

  • Demonstrably growing customer base and/or market share

  • London-based business


You & Your Team

  • Women and non-binary founder(s)

  • You have proven expertise in your industry

*We are a diverse consortium delivering this programme and welcome applications from individuals representing various communities including marginalised founders such as those with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ community and ethnic minorities.

What Ascend has to offer you

Investment Readiness

During this phase, businesses will receive support & guidance to become investment-ready. This may involve refining their business plans, improving financial projections, and enhancing their overall value proposition.

Business & Funding Advice

Through the programme, businesses will have access to business & funding advice. This will include mentorship & guidance from industry experts providing insights and establishing relationships with potential investors.

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2024 timeline

There are only 35 spaces available on this unique 12-week programme, delivered through a combination of virtual and in-person events from June 2024 to February 2025

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Aftercare &
Investor Connects

After the initial phase, the programme offers robust post-programme support from January 2025 to February 2025. Businesses will have the opportunity to connect with established investor networks.

This will provide you with access to potential funding sources & further opportunities for growth and expansion.

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This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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