NEWPORT — A first-time USDA Rural Business Development grant called ”ASPIRE!” has arrived to engage and empower women entrepreneurs in the Northeast Kingdom.
A grant rich in opportunities for applicants, the first tier award will be for $2,000 to help for technical assistance. Circle of Support members then pitch judges for the second tier of $5,000 grants and partnering with community businesses to support the process.
The first cohort of “ASPIRANTS!” at whatever stage of their business development, will be announced by the end of December and be working together in their Circles of Support by the beginning of 2017.
ASPIRE’s kickoff luncheon in Newport will take place on November 30.
Jane Campbell, Executive Director of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, will give a glimpse of VBSR’s imaginative new business model and how it empowers the women-owned businesses they represent.
Joe Patrissi, Executive Director of Northeast Kingdom Community Action will give the welcome for ASPIRE!
Amy Robinson. Director of NEKCA’s Micro Business Development Program, will trace ASPIRE’s history and Project Manager Diana Henry will flesh out the details of the grant.
The luncheon is free for applicants, community volunteers, and interested business partners.
The program will run from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
ASPIRE! is expected help women grow their business and the economy of the Northeast Kingdom.