We support fishermen, artists, makers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs in Maine’s coastal and island communities.
By providing business and financial planning services, professional development opportunities, industry and marketing connections, and loans and grants, the Island Institute helps fishermen, artists, makers, and other entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business. We work closely with private, local, state, and federal business counseling resources to ensure that these entrepreneurs have access to an extensive network of industry experts, advisors, and mentors.
Sponsored by the John T. Gorman Foundation.
Microgrants for Entrepreneurship and Community Impact
We are proud to offer Microgrants for Entrepreneurship and Community Impact (MECI). These microgrants, made possible by the John T. Gorman Foundation, support small businesses that increase beneficial impacts to Maine coastal and island communities. Microgrants will be considered for participants of the Island and Coastal Business Launchpad Program who aspire to meet one or more of the Impact Indicators.
Details on MECI eligibility and Impact Indicators can be found here:
MECI application details:
With a MECI application form, the applicant will need to justify how the grant of up to $1,500 will be used to meet one or more of the Impact Indicators.
To discuss an application, please contact Craig Olson.
Island & Coastal Innovation Fund
The Island and Coastal Innovation Fund (ICIF) supports community-focused entrepreneurs, invests in transformative business models, and purchases and reallocates assets that will ensure a diversified economy for the future of Maine’s island and coastal communities. The application process begins with a discussion outlining the Impact Indicators.
More information is available in our ICIF factsheet: Island and Coastal Innovation Fund
To inquire about an ICIF loan application, please contact Alli Carmen.
Other Launchpad Services
The Island Institute connects fishermen, artists, makers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs to resources that can help improve income stability, business efficiency, and economic productivity, and allow businesses to expand and reach new markets.
To inquire about any of our services, please contact Craig Olson or other staff contacts as listed below:
- Aquaculture Business Development Program — Peter Piconi, Marine Business Specialist
- Archipelago, retail store for artists & makers, and the annual Artists & Makers Conference — Lisa Mossel Vietze, Archipelago Director
- Digital Education Workshops and Financial Planning Workshops — Craig Olson, Senior Community Development Officer - Business