We support small businesses through four programs:

Aquaculture Business Development Program
Island and Coastal Innovation Fund
Microgrants for Entrepreneurship and Community Impact
What is it?

Training and one-on-one support in business planning, networking, websites, and more

Multidisciplinary support for prospective seaweed and shellfish businesses

Flexible loan, $5k-$50k or equity investments coupled with business support services 

Grant up to $1.5k

Who can take part?

For island coastal entrepreneurs 

For any fishermen or community member from an island or coastal fishing community

For new/existing businesses who meet one or more of our community impact metrics 

For successful ICIF applicants needing support to meet one or more of our community impact metrics 

How do you get started?

Contact Bri Warner to discuss your aspirations.

Application period for second cohort is now closed. Dates for next cohort to be released in January 2018. 

Contact Stephenie MacLagan for more information.

Contact Bri Warner to discuss your aspirations.

Contact Bri Warner to discuss your aspirations.


Sponsored by the John T. Gorman Foundation

By providing business and financial planning services, professional development, marketing connections, and loans and grants, the Island Institute helps 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 entrepreneurs and fishermen have access to an extensive network of subject experts, advisors, and mentors.

We are interested in working with every type of coastal and island business. For assistance with your business or more information about this work, please reach out to Briana Warner, Economic Development Director. You can also subscribe to our Commercial Currents newsletter with up to date information and helpful tools for island and coastal businesses.

Island & Coastal Innovation Fund

The Island and Coastal Innovation Fund 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. Companies we've worked with in the past include:


To discuss your project, please contact:
Briana Warner, Economic Development Director
Eric Waters, Chief Financial Officer

After the initial discussion outlining our community impact metrics as well as our financial requirements, we will send you an application packet. Upon receipt of the information requested in the packet, the ICIF loan committee will review the loan application and community impact metrics. If the loan is approved, we will provide the necessary documentation for your review and set up a closing date. If the application is not approved, we will inform you and, if possible, provide introductions to other lenders who may have resources that better fit your request.

Microgrants for entrepreneurship and community impact (MECI)

Grants will be considered for all ICIF loan recipients who demonstrate a capital need in order to meet one or more of the metrics outlined in our community impact metrics. ICIF loan recipients interested in our micro grant application will need to fill out the Island Institute grant application form justifying how the money will be used to meet the impact metrics.

Please contact Bri Warner to discuss microgrant options and request an application form. 

The Microgrants for Entrepreneurship and Community Impact (MECI) program is made possible by the John T. Gorman Foundation.