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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 5-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.

"Being part of ELLA got me out of my own head. You think the same tired crap that doesn't make sense - and sometimes you just need to talk it out, and there is someone else in the group with amazing ideas."

-Chantal Carter, Founder & CEO of Love & Nudes and ELLA Ascend Alumnus

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.

Need in-depth information on how to overcome a particular challenge? Get connected for an individualized conversation with one of our many Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Our growing list of SMEs covers a range of 70+ essential topics including business strategy, growth hacking and more.

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 refined business strategy and optimized service or product design to gain strides in the market.

Understand and articulate your business strategy by creating a refined Business Model Canvas. This includes defining your unique value proposition, key customer segments, relationships, cost structure and more.

Optimize the design and delivery of your product or service. Outline your problem-solution fit, establish your service blueprint or user journey map, refine your marketing and sales strategy and revise all the elements needed to enhance your business operations and growth.

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 an incorporated business or a registered non-profit or social enterprise, and you are working full-time on your venture  
  • You have an annual revenue of $50,000 minimum with paying customers  
  • Your business is located in Southern Ontario (between Ottawa and Windsor)
  • 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 5-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 Close

January 24, 2021

Candidates Notified

February 2021

Launch & Orientation

March 4, 2021

Program Concludes

July 31, 2021

If you would like to be notified about when applications open for the 2022 program, please complete this form.

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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