Start Your Own Business

for New Mainers

The New Mainers Resource Center helps support foreign-trained professionals to restart their careers in the US.

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Start your own business

Starting Your Own Business

If you’re ready to go it alone and launch your own business, find resources below to help guide you on your journey.

Click on a program below to learn more.

CEI StartSmart logo
New Ventures Maine logo
Maine SBDC logo
SCORE Maine logo
City of Portland seal
Finance Authority of Maine logo
CEI StartSmart logo

StartSmart

StartSmart is a free business development program run by Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) that helps immigrants start or grow a business with:

EXPERT ADVICE

  • Evaluate your business idea
  • Develop a business plan
  • Review location choices
  • Help identify sources of financing
  • Organize your bookkeeping
  • Strengthen marketing and advertising

FINANCING

  • Rebuild your credit
  • Apply for a business loan

LEGAL AND REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS

  • Permits and licenses
  • Taxes
  • Insurance

Interpreters are available.

CEI’s StartSmart Program
2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 775-1984
Email: start.smart@ceimaine.org

New Ventures Maine logo

New Ventures Maine

New Ventures Maine interactive classes and workshops are available online. Choose a Class to sign up for free online workshops and classes. We are not offering in-person classes at this time. Individual appointments are available by video conference or phone.

New Ventures Maine (NVME) can help you:

  • Research your idea — can you do it? Is it worth it? Can it bring the necessary income?
  • Get organized and put a plan together.
  • Turn your dream into reality.

Core classes include:

  • Venturing Forth: Business Planning for Entrepreneurs
  • Business Basics
  • Introduction to Self-Employment

Other resources include:

  • FDA matched savings for business expenses
  • Individual business advising
  • Introduction to Self-Employment

New Ventures Maine — South Portland
175 Main Street
South Portland, ME 04106
Phone: (207) 799-5025

Maine SBDC logo

Maine Small Business Development Center

The Maine SBDC provides free business advising to entrepreneurs and small businesses around the state. For new and existing businesses it provides advising, training and educational resources on the following topics and more:

  • Business planning and startups
  • Financial Analysis
  • Marketing and sales
  • Credit and financing
  • Operations and management

Meet with a Maine SBDC Business Advisor

Maine Small Business Development Centers
55 Exeter St.
Portland, Maine 04102
Phone: (207) 780-4420
Email: Mainesbde@maine.edu

SCORE Maine logo

SCORE Maine

The SCORE is a nonprofit organization providing educational workshops and helping small businesses get started, grow and operate effectively.

With locations around the state, SCORE Maine’s services include:

  • Education workshops on planning and financing
  • Mentoring services
  • SCORE also provides educational programs for tax preparers and agents

Click here for Free Mentoring Services.

SCORE Maine — Portland
100 Middle St., 2nd Fl.
Portland, Maine 04101
Phone: (207) 536-1143
Email: scoretaxworkshops@gmail.com

City of Portland seal

City of Portland Housing and Economic Development Business Financing

Portland’s Business Loan and Grant Programs provide financial assistance to new and existing Portland businesses.

Information about Getting Financial Support for Your Business:
(click to expand)

Financial support for my business from Portland Housing and Economic Development

DOWNLOAD THE PDF

City of Portland — Housing & Economic Development
389 Congress St., Room 308
Portland, Maine 04101
Phone: (207) 874-8683
Email: ljn@portlandmaine.gov

Finance Authority of Maine logo

Finance Authority of Maine

Portland’s Business Loan and Grant Programs provide financial assistance to new and existing Portland businesses.

Information about Getting Financial Support for Your Business:
(click to expand)

DOWNLOAD THE PDF

City of Portland — Housing & Economic Development
389 Congress St., Room 308
Portland, Maine 04101
Phone: (207) 874-8683
Email: ljn@portlandmaine.gov

“There is no question that the foreign-born population is key to being able to grow Maine’s economy.” 

Dana F. Conners,
President of the Maine Chamber of Commerce