- January 31, 2019
Have you ever wondered what aquaculture was about or what it would be like to have your own farm for mussels, oysters or kelp? Now is a great time to begin your own aquaculture business right here in Maine. Through the Aquaculture Business Development (ABD) program, the Island Institute is working to help fisherman and people from coastal communities diversify into shellfish or seaweed aquaculture. Join the Island Institute's fourth Aquaculture Business Development cohort—Applications open February 1, 2019!
- January 25, 2019
Last month, we talked about the dilemma of most small business owners and how a business can take over your personal life. We hope the piece gave you pause to think about parts of your life that may be out of balance and some steps you might want to take to re-align your business and personal lives. This month, as we close out the calendar, take a breath, and begin to think about tax season, it’s a great time to talk about some business management practices that may help your business—and your life—run a little smoother.
- December 21, 2018
The holiday season is hectic for everyone but even more so for small business owners. If you own a retail business, this may be your biggest month of the year. For some businesses, much of their year-end profit is realized in the month of December. Other business owners have just come off of a hectic summer and fall season, and now they just want to rest and recover. So, it stands to reason that, at the end of the year, many small business owners often find themselves wondering how they can achieve better work/life balance. Now is a good time to step back from the daily operations of your business and reflect on how you manage your personal time.
- December 19, 2018
Earlier this fall, we caught up with Josh and Shey Conover, owners of Islesboro Marine and founders of Marshall Cove Aquaculture. Shey worked at the Island Institute from 2004-2017, and we helped her and Josh start their mussel farm on the northwest side of Islesboro through the second round of our Aquaculture Business Development program in 2016. Since then, they have expanded their work and took a moment to fill us in on their upcoming plans.
- December 17, 2018
Credential of Value. It’s a fairly new term in the world of education and workforce development and can mean different things depending on where you live and what vocational opportunities you have access to. According to MaineSpark, a statewide workforce development initiative powered by a coalition of education and business leaders, a credential of value is training or education beyond a high school diploma that leads to a job in the current economy.
- November 30, 2018
Through its inter-island peer network, the community of the Outer Islands Teaching & Learning Collaborative (TLC) creates a lifeline of support for students and teachers in order to sustain Maine’s one- and two-room island schools. This support takes shape through teacher-to-teacher and teacher-to-student interaction, as well as student-to-student support and community outreach. As Ian Collins of our Education team writes, there are valuable lessons one can learn about the importance of connections, collaboration, and what it means to be a TLC student and teacher.
- November 30, 2018
By their nature, island communities are beholden to the ferries that serve them, and the ferry schedule, timing, number of trips, and cost all have an impact on island life. In 'The Working Waterfront' and the Island Institute blog, we have covered how changes in the Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS) are impacting Islesboro and the other islands served by them. With recent policy changes, new ferries coming online, and concerns over fare increases, it's important to recognize that the communities served by the ferry service are all unique and dependent on it in their own way, and that decisions about the future of Maine’s ferries should be based on a shared understanding.
- October 30, 2018
At the 2nd annual Great Lakes Islands Summit, held October 1-2, 2018 in Madeline Island, Wisconsin, islanders and leaders from around the Great Lakes region and beyond gathered to discuss the unique challenges of living, working, and playing on islands. This year’s summit focused on topics relevant to all island communities, including water levels, affordable housing, energy production, and economic survival. During the energy breakout session, energy experts and community members shared energy challenges as well as ideas and solutions for addressing them.
- October 29, 2018
In my role as director of Archipelago, the Island Institute's store and gallery, I’ve seen many artists come through the door wanting to know the nuts and bolts of starting or growing a business. Artists bring in their portfolio, product, or both, and want opinions on pricing, market, or feedback on their work. While this is great, sometimes I need to ask them to step back in order to move forward successfully. For me, one of the first things I notice is do they know who they are? Do they have a voice? For whatever product you’re selling and whatever business you’re starting or growing—you’ll need to find customers. Telling a good story draws like-minded customers to you, and that all starts with your voice.