Project 500 scaling program

Research shows that many disadvantaged businesses – run by historically marginalized populations - have far more risk than other entrepreneurs as they are depending on a patchwork of contacts and capital to advance their ideas. Often their own lack of economic security is a barrier to running a successful business.

Capitalizing on the historic levels of economic development activity in the nation’s capital Project 500 works with businesses to help them leverage the investments being made in DC by preparing them – personally and professionally - for significant growth opportunities. The project provides hands on training, capacity building, mentoring and networking. Through the provision of training and support, with a laser focus on business and financial capacity, the program seeks to catalyze business expansion in the city, with preference for Wards 7 and 8.

For businesses with revenue under $250,000 annually, Project 500 offers a 12-14 week program that offers basic and intermediate workshops to help entrepreneurs identify and attain modest to moderate growth. This program is offered to cohorts up to 100 entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in scaling your business, then complete our online application!


Ascend 2020 dc

Ascend 2020 DC is part of a national initiative led by the University of Washington Foster School of Business; the program is creating local support ecosystems for neighborhood-based businesses, inner-city businesses, and minority-owned businesses in Atlanta, the Bay Area, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. by linking business schools, business service-providing organizations and community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Over the next three years, the goal is to support 350 businesses, across the six cities to increase revenue by $1 billion. 

For businesses with over $500,000 in annual revenue, Project 500 offers this accelerated 9-week program that provides intensive content, exercises and application of scale strategies in the areas of sales, finance, human resources and operations. 

We ask that you take a moment to tell us about yourself and your business so that we can assess your eligibility for the program and insure alignment between your needs and our program. The program is competitive and only a select cohort will be selected for participation. If you are interested and believe you are eligible, then please complete the online application; we will be back in touch as soon as possible to schedule an interview.


Nonprofit Training program

Project 500™ is committed to supporting community based organizations become financially sustainable. We have developed a 7-module training program focused on organizational sustainability. The program includes online and offline training, 1-1 office hours and customized assistance related to fundraising and capacity building. 

Over the course of the program, the participants will have access to the following workshops:

1. Getting Your House in Order – review of vision, mission, business model and governance
2. Mini Strategic Planning – program planning and scale for the future
3. Critical Policies & Procedures – creating supports to insure compliance and capacity
4. Financial Planning – budgeting and projections for the organization
5. Metrics & Evaluation – developing tools to monitor the organization and its programs
6. Grant Writing – tools, techniques and resources for writing successful proposals
7. Fundraising – examination of diverse funding sources to support sustainability

This content will include workshops, exercises & application, online resources and reading materials. In addition to the aforementioned workshops, participants will have access to 1-1 office hours to receive customized assistance related to fundraising and capacity building.

The goal of the program is for participants to successfully apply and retain funding towards organizational sustainability. 

Due to the short nature of the training program your full participation is required for the program to work for you. If you are interested in participating in the program, we ask that you complete the survey. Your honest responses will help tailor the program and ideally yield better results for you and your organization.