EforAll Launches its Business Accelerator Program in Maine to Expand Access to Entrepreneurship
Under-represented entrepreneurs will receive training, mentorship, and support to launch successful businesses state-wide
PORTLAND, Maine – March 7, 2023 – Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate economic and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship, announces the launch of its free year-long program in the state of Maine. Available virtually, this program will provide under-represented individuals residing in the state with the training and support needed to start, grow and sustain a business or nonprofit across a wide range of industries, including personal and professional services, food, retail, manufacturing, and technology.
Maine Technology Institute (MTI), a non-profit that helps technology companies close the early-stage funding gap, contributed early leadership to and funding for EforAll’s expansion into Maine. MTI’s role as lead sponsor was driven by its own commitment to create and maintain deep relationships with Maine entrepreneurs who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC).
“MTI is proud to make a 3-year sponsorship commitment to EforAll,” said Brian Whitney, President of MTI. “EforAll programs will enable more BIPOC entrepreneurs to gain the confidence and the skills to dream big and leverage the support groups throughout the state that can ensure success.”
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s most recent data, 99.2% of businesses in Maine are small businesses, of which only 1.1% are Hispanic-owned and 2.6% are owned by members of other racial minority groups. This data underscores a need for a business accelerator program that supports BIPOC entrepreneurs and increases the diversity in the local business landscape.
“As a Black, female lawyer and entrepreneur in Maine, I really appreciate the great resources currently in place to support Maine entrepreneurs, but these programs have not historically provided the culturally responsive programming necessary to ensure that BIPOC entrepreneurs, in particular, feel supported and included in the community,” said Krystal Williams, a champion for EforAll Maine. “The commitment to bring EforAll to the state ensures that the ecosystem is truly inclusive and that the economy works for all Mainers.”
EforAll’s programming includes regular pitch contests – a community event that helps early-stage entrepreneurs gain valuable exposure and feedback on a business idea – and a year-long business accelerator. The business accelerator program is offered twice a year and uses a unique combination of practical business training, dedicated mentorship from local business and community leaders, and access to a large professional network.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to launch in yet another New England state, making it the third in our roster, following Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” said EforAll CEO Meralis Hood. “We are grateful for the support of MTI and look forward to delivering programming that can benefit all aspiring entrepreneurs across the state.”
In addition to Portland, EforAll Maine plans to have a physical presence in Bangor and Lewiston-Auburn. The organization is set to kick off its first pitch contest in the fall of 2023 and its first accelerator program in the winter of 2024.
Currently, EforAll is looking for an Executive Director to lead the Maine program. Interested candidates can learn more about the requirements for this opportunity and apply at https://eforall.org/executive-director-eforall-maine/.
To learn more and to stay updated on EforAll Maine, visit https://eforall.org/maine.
Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is a nonprofit organization that partners with communities nationwide to help under-represented individuals successfully start and grow a business through intensive business training, mentorship and an extended professional support network. To date, EforAll alumni have launched over 1,100 businesses. In 2021 alone, its businesses provided 1,734 local jobs and generated over $54M in revenue, despite the pandemic. Programs are available in both English and Spanish. EforAll current locations include Longmont, Colo.; Maine; Northwest Arkansas, Rhode Island; and the following Massachusetts communities: Berkshire County, Cape Cod, Fall River/New Bedford, Worcester, Holyoke, Merrimack Valley, Lynn, and Roxbury. To learn more about EforAll, please visit eforall.org.
EforAll Media Contact
Matter Communications on behalf of EforAll