Kellogg ASCEND Business Growth Program

Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase

The Kellogg School of Management is partnering with JPMorgan Chase to offer ASCEND@Kellogg, a four-day residential management education program (June 10-14, 2018) focused on entrepreneurial growth. The program will engage a cohort of 13-15 minority-owned and other businesses that have a significant percentage of employees from Chicago's under-resourced neighborhoods. We seek firms with revenues of $1 million+ or 50+ employees, although smaller, high-growth potential companies will be considered.

This partnership between Kellogg and JPMorgan Chase aligns management education, market access, and capital access to grow businesses and jobs in low and moderate income (LMI) communities in Chicagoland, and to develop a network that links business schools, market access organizations, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Chase small business banking.

  1. Provide a 4-day executive custom management education program for minority-owned businesses to enhance potential for growth and increase hiring in under-resourced LMI neighborhoods in Chicagoland area. Kellogg MBA students serve as resources for owners during and outside of class. Students will learn more about issues in under-served communities and be better prepared to address them in future careers.
  2. Facilitate growth of minority-owned businesses by providing access to market opportunities primarily in the utilities, construction, health, and possibly tech industries with organizations such as CASE, Chicago Urban League, and Minority Supplier Development Council.
  3. Facilitate growth of minority-owned businesses by providing direct access to CDFIs, Chase, and other funding opportunities.

This partnership with JHLA links the Kellogg School with diverse business and nonprofit communities; helps businesses scale, retain and create jobs; stimulates innovative economic development; and expands students' knowledge about how to address issues in LMI communities.

The collaboration of Kellogg, JHLA, CDFIs, JPMChase, and major enterprise will enhance economic development in LMI communities which will increase employment while decreasing violence and related societal ills in the targeted (under-resourced) area neighborhoods.

The focus is on minority-owned businesses and businesses that employ a high percentage/number of residents from neighborhoods with lower employment. Primary targets include community areas such as Austin, Bronzeville, Englewood, Washington Park, and Woodlawn.

Who Should Attend

Kellogg Ascend seeks to partner with minority business owners, and those who are based in and/or hire from underserved areas interested in growth through management education, access to potential funders and access to potential new business. The ideal firms meet the requirements listed below.

  • The company must hire a significant percentage of employees from lower income areas of Chicago, especially the South and West Sides.
  • The company should earn $1+ million in revenue or have 50+ employees although smaller businesses with strong growth potential will be considered.
  • Attend the residential 2018 Kellogg Ascend Business Growth Program in Evanston, June 10, 4:30 PM to June 14, 2:00 PM.

Key Benefits

  • Understand key management concepts related to company growth including capital markets, branding, leadership, finance, strategies, marketing and others
  • Learn to think strategically about your facility and identify important concepts you can apply to build the organization, increase stability and enhance growth
  • Build a network of peers and mentors to support continued professional growth and development
  • Acquire new knowledge and skills for strengthening your organization’s capacity to meet the challenges of a changing competitive landscape

Program Content

The curriculum will address business principles and examples that enhance successful company growth.

Growth Topics

  • Managing strategic change and growth
  • Financing and capital markets
  • Defending the brand
  • Business plan development
  • Negotiation
  • Team building
  • Acquisition
  • Entrepreneurial selling
  • Entrepreneurial finance

Practical Application

  • Apply learning from the program to your business
  • Discuss applications of the learning in small peer group sessions
  • Address business issues your questions to faculty and industry experts


Derrick Collins
Tim Fedderson
Paul Hirsch
James Lowry
Karin O'Connor
Joseph Patton
Kelly Richmond Pope
Lauren Rivera
Michele Rogers
Albert Sharp
Leigh Thompson
Gregory White

Fees & Accommodations


Each participant submits a $1,500 registration fee for this 4-day program. (JPMorgan Chase sponsors this program).

Location & Accommodations:

The Kellogg Ascend Program is held at the James L. Allen Center on Northwestern University's Evanston Campus.

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

*A limited number of accommodations are available at the James L. Allen Center, and are included with registration. Late registrants are responsible for booking their hotel accommodations during their stay.

Download Recommended Hotel List >

Application Deadline

The deadline for registration is 10:00 am on June 7th.

Cancellation Policy:

Participants must notify the Program Manager three business days in advance of the program start if they are unable to attend. Otherwise, participants forfeit the program fee.

When canceling a program registration, participants may choose to roll over their payment to a future program or receive a refund. Participants are allowed three rollovers, after the third rollover, participants forfeit the money paid to the Center for Nonprofit Management.

*Refund or rollover must be requested at the time of the program cancellation. Once a program payment has been rolled over, a monetary refund is no longer an option. The participant must continue with the rollover process.

Contact Us

Please email or call Michele Rogers to learn more about
ASCEND 2020 program @Kellogg

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208