Aspire Grant & Development, LLC, a full-service grant writing and management company, announced today recertification under The Women's Business Enterprise Council (WBENC). Aspire, founded in 2014 by Michele Miller Beener, is both a certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE) and Women Owned Small Business (WOSB). The company specializes in the research, submission and management of competitive federal, state and private grants. Aspire is proud to be managing over $100 million in awards for existing clients in the firms consulting portfolio, which includes a mix of nonprofit agencies, manufacturers, health and addiction providers and private developers. "Receiving national recertification as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise/Women Owned Small Business is certainly exciting; the designation is complementary to Aspire’s ongoing national-level work in the grant space. Without a doubt, WBE Certification has allowed Aspire to grow, increasing the depth and breadth of our consulting team and services," said Michele. All Aspire grant writers are members of the National Grants Management Association, assuring the highest standards of grant compliance for clients. Ms. Beener is also a registered grant reviewer for a branch of the federal government, providing background necessary to ensure proposals are written to score high. In addition to grant writing, Aspire specializes in the preparation of economic impact models to support development projects. In the fall of 2019, the firm will begin offering legal preparation of IRS Form 1023 for clients wanting to launch a 501©3. This service will be offered in conjunction with a law office, allowing Aspire to serve as a one stop shop for the creation of nonprofit umbrellas, often the first step for an organization wishing to apply for competitive funding for charitable or development purposes. In 2020, the firm will be working to build grant capital for several startup funds under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which created Qualified Opportunity Zones, a tool for promoting long-term investment in low-income communities.
The WBENC certification, for women-owned businesses, certifies that a company is at least 51% woman/women owned. It is the most rigorous and sought-after certification of its kind. The SBA's WOSB Federal Contract Program provides greater access to federal contracting opportunities for women owned business. The United States Small Business Administration set a goal of having 5% of small business prime contracting to federal agencies come from women-owned small businesses. In 2018, agencies fell just short of that goal, having spent only 4.75% on small-business contracts through women-owned companies. Michele and team are proud to serve as advisors/educators, facilitating education relative to grant writing, women owned certification and business development to underserved populations across the country’s Appalachian Region, most recently publishing their first “grant seeker” educational podcast through Mother Earth News. Aspire also specializes in the preparation of community economic impact narratives, often required in state-level applications to grow, process or dispense medical cannabis.
Companies and government agencies that include women-owned businesses as their vendors show their commitment to fostering diversity. For additional information on Aspire Grant & Development, LLC, visit their web site aspiregrants.com or call (814)-701-2787. For additional information on WBENC visit wbenc.org