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ELLA Ascend

You’ve started a business solving an inherent need in the marketplace, have nurtured a growing customer-base and are working on your business full-time. Now it’s time to grow. Read on to find out how ELLA Ascend can support you through the next steps.

Take your business to the next level

Gain access to the one-on-one help, a community of peers and supporters, tailored resources and comprehensive knowledge you need to scale your business.

ELLA Ascend is a 4-month accelerator program designed for women entrepreneurs to scale their business at a fast-tracked pace.

You are solving an inherent need in the marketplace and have proven traction. Now, gain the edge you need to take big strides forward.

What you'll receive as a program participant in ELLA Ascend:


ELLA gives you access to an inclusive community of women entrepreneurs who span across many backgrounds, industries, and specializations. It is a safe space where you will be surrounded by supportive peers and mentors as you learn, experiment and propel your business to the next level.

“The struggles were similar, and it was easier to relate to a group of just women because you can allow yourself to be more vulnerable. ELLA helped me connect with a community and discuss all my challenges – in business, and as a mother. I think having this support system helped most of us get through COVID. You become less hard on yourself when you know others share your struggles. Any mom who is an entrepreneur will tell you – you don’t feel like you are putting in enough time at home, but the business is thriving, or the other way around. It is a balancing act. Having a sounding board was invaluable.”

-Seema Sanghavi, Founder & CEO of Cooks Who Feed and ELLA Ascend Alumnus

Expert Advice

Get advice that’s tailored to your specific business needs through a variety of program elements.

Your business is unique. In ELLA Ascend, you’ll be matched to an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (experienced entrepreneur in a mentor role) with the know-how to guide you in the right direction. Bi-weekly meetings ensure you are making progress in meeting your own specific goals.

To ensure you are getting all you need out of the Ascend program, you’ll have a monthly meeting with ELLA’s Entrepreneurship Manager. This is a chance to discuss your progress one-on-one and seek any additional resources that will help you succeed.

In ELLA Ascend, you will join a small group of peers in bi-weekly meetings to discuss current challenges and possible paths to success. You're never alone as you lean on and learn from fellow women entrepreneurs to grow you businesses together.

"The opportunity to learn from women that are experts in entrepreneurship was invaluable. I loved the Founder's Circles and the check-ins and being pushed to try new things and make refinements in my business that I may not have thought of on my own"

- ELLA Ascend 2021 alumna

Workshops will cover topics necessary to complete program deliverables and will be conducted by experts in their field. Learn the practical skills and tactics to fast forward your success.

"The workshops were packed with information that I will continue to use to improve and grow my organization"

- ELLA Ascend 2021 alumna

A Solid Foundation to Build On

Through workshops, founder circles, and the insight from one-on-one mentorship, complete the ELLA Ascend program with a thorough understanding of business fundamentals that will help you gain strides in the market.

A Network of Industry Professionals

Gain access to curated networking opportunities with a vast portfolio of professionals. Grow your network of contacts for present and future needs so you always have somewhere to turn for reliable answers. Connect with peers to form invaluable partnerships and broaden your scope of resources for years to come.

You are eligible to apply for ELLA Ascend if:

  • You are a woman entrepreneur with at least 50% ownership of a registered business, non-profit or social enterprise, and you are working full-time on your venture  
  • You have a minimum annual revenue of $50,000 and paying customers  
  • Your business is located in Canada
  • You are open to change, looking to step out of your comfort zone and are willing to give back to the ELLA Community with your own strengths and insight 
  • You can commit fully to the requirements of a 4-month accelerator program 


Gain practical tips you can implement right away!

“All of the workshops helped me look at crucial areas I've been needing to look at for a long time. The workshops really started the creative juices flowing. I've attended many workshops in the 5 years I've been in business, but these ones truly helped me look at things I never thought of looking at that way before.”

ELLA Ascend 2020 Alum

Program Timeline

Applications Open

April 17, 2023

Applications Close

May 15, 2023

Candidates Notified

May 2023

Launch & Orientation

June 19, 2023

Program Concludes

October, 2023

Applications for Ascend 2023 are now open. Apply here.

If you're at a more advanced level and ready to take your business to the world stage with national and international expansion, visit ELLA Altitude to learn how we can help you develop your step-by-step growth plan.

ELLA is for everyone

ELLA is committed to building a diverse program

Women of different racial or ethnic backgrounds

Indigenous Peoples

Women of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity

Differently-abled and/or neuro-diverse women

Immigrants and newcomers

Underrepresented age groups in the entrepreneurial ecosystem

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