Nurturing Dreams,
Building Futures

Year In Review

The entrepreneurial spirit remains strong in Maine. Almost 2,300 entrepreneurs and small business owners turned to the Maine SBDC in 2023, up almost 50% from pre-pandemic times. Despite the challenges of the last few years, business owners remain optimistic. This optimism is reflected in the more than 140 new businesses started with the help of the Maine SBDC, higher than in any of the last 10 years. This is also seen in the funding that business owners accessed – over $36M – to help start and grow their businesses.

These small businesses play a crucial role in building Maine’s future, contributing to the creation of welcoming, vibrant communities, and high-quality employment opportunities. The Maine SBDC supports these resilient entrepreneurs and plays a vital role in fostering the creation, growth, and success of these small businesses. With business advisors located across Maine, small businesses can more confidently navigate the challenges and rewards of business ownership.

Maine SBDC is helping build Maine’s future, one business at a time.

Serving over 2,200 entrepreneurs in 2023

Headshot of Mark Delisle

Mark Delisle
State Director

Jennifer Boutin
Associate State Director of Operations

Peter Harriman
Center Director & Business Advisor

Raynor Large
Center Director & Business Advisor

Alison Lane
Associate Center Director & Business Advisor

Christine Cole
Business Advisor, Portland

Headshot of Chris Dodge

Christina Dodge
Business Advisor, Waterville

Anne Lancaster
Business Advisor, Biddeford

Headshot of Ann McAlhany

Ann McAlhany
Business Advisor, Bangor

Headshot of Chase Nelson, Maine SBDC Business Advisor in Eastport

Chase Nelson
Business Advisor, Eastport

Headshot of Christina Oddleifson

Christina Oddleifson
Business Advisor, Portland

Peter Piconi
Business Advisor, Rockland

Eric Treworgy
Business Advisor, Ellsworth

Headshot of Dan Umphrey, Maine SBDC business advisor

Dan Umphrey
Business Advisor, Caribou

Stephanie Case
Admin & Data Manager

Elise Devon
Director of Finance & Grant Management


Making an Impact

Verified impact in communities across Maine: In 2023, Maine SBDC business advisors provided guidance to thousands of individuals. The economic impact of this work can be attributed to the assistance received from Maine SBDC business advisors — our clients have verified each job created or saved, business started, and dollar of capital reported.

0 Clients Advised
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Million in Capital Accessed

Serving & Supporting

Serving all of Maine’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, including those in underserved markets: Business advisors work with each entrepreneur to provide the unique assistance needed in order for them to achieve their goals.

In 2023, Maine SBDC clients consisted of…

  • 53% Women Entrepreneurs
  • 34% Young Entrepreneurs (35 years or younger)
  • 29% Rural Entrepreneurs
  • 14% Non-White & Hispanic Entrepreneurs
  • 10% Entrepreneurs with Low-to-Moderate Income
  • 8% Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
  • 7% Veteran & Military-Connected Entrepreneurs

GIF slideshow of small business owners throughout Maine the Maine SBDC helped in 2023
Group photo of Maine SBDC team

Inspiring Confidence
Inspiring Confidence

Business advising inspires clarity and confidence to build sustainable businesses: More than 97% of clients said they would recommend their business advisor. After meeting with a business advisor, business owners feel supported, encouraged, and inspired to run their businesses more confidently.

The Maine SBDC team genuinely cares about the success of their clients. Each advisor brings a diverse and impressive background that enables them to guide clients through the ins and outs of business ownership.


Accessing Capital

Helping entrepreneurs access the money they need to start, operate, and grow their small businesses: In 2023, Maine SBDC helped 220 clients access nearly $36.4 million in capital. On average, Maine SBDC clients accessed approximately $165,000 each in loans, grants, and private and equity investments. Almost 60% of these 220 clients belong to groups that have historically faced significant barriers when accessing capital for their businesses. These include non-White, Hispanic, Disabled, Veteran, and/or Women. 

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Accessing Capital Breackdown Pie Chart - Grants and other Capital 4.3%, Loans 72%, Owners Investment 23.7%

Business Sustainability
Business Sustainability

Securing the future of Maine’s small businesses: Maine SBDC guides and supports entrepreneurs who seek to buy or sell an existing small business. This work ensures a future for these businesses and allows them to continue to contribute to their local economies.

Over the last five years, Maine SBDC assisted over 60 businesses to transition to new ownership, including those transitioning to employee ownership. In addition, guidance on the process of buying and selling a business was provided to over 800 entrepreneurs.

I would like to take a moment to thank you for your help in this difficult process to help me purchase the business of my dreams and become an entrepreneur.

– Dan Daigle, Mountain Side Powersports in Wilton | Maine SBDC 2020 Client

Learning & Empowering

Learning & Empowering

Providing access to free educational opportunities on subjects that matter to entrepreneurs and business owners: Maine SBDC is dedicated to empowering and educating business owners to start and operate sustainable businesses. In addition to on-demand eCourses, Maine SBDC offered live webinars and an expansive YouTube library to provide accessible information to business owners across Maine.

Webinar Statistics

Webinar Screen Collage

By The Numbers

Return On Investment

Return on investment for the Maine SBDC is evaluated, analyzed, and reviewed annually through an independent study conducted by Dr. James Chrisman at Mississippi State University. His findings are based on information provided by a survey of clients meeting with a Maine SBDC business advisor for at least five hours. Dr. Chrisman’s most recent report indicates that for every dollar invested in the Maine SBDC, $3.29 was returned in incremental tax revenue.



$1 invested in a small blue circle         $3.80 Incremental Tax Revenue in big purple circle.

For every dollar invested in the Maine SBDC, $3.29 was returned in incremental tax revenue.

– Maine SBDC Economic Impact Study: 2021-2022

5-Year Trends

Over 2,200 entrepreneurs turned to the Maine SBDC in 2023 to help navigate the process of starting, managing, or growing their businesses. With the guidance and expertise of business advisors, these entrepreneurs develop the skills necessary to meet their goals, create successful businesses, and improve the local economies in which they reside.

Bar Chart - Capital Formation indicating 5 year trend of $26.8 million in 2019, $38.3 million in 2020, $48.8 million in 2021, $30.3 million in 2022, $30.3 million in 2022, $36.4 million in 2023
Bar Chart - New Businesses Started indicating 5 year trend of 133 in 2019, 92 in 2020, 436 in 2021, 129 in 2022, and 145 in 2023
Bar Chart - Jobs created and saved indicating 5 year trend of 600 in 2019, 514 in 2020, 917 in 2021, 591 in 2022, and 542 in 2023

Client Composition

Client Composition chart in varying shads of grey and light green. 2.5% Real Estate, Rental & Leasing,3.3% Administrative & Support,5.4% Construction,5.6% Manufacturing,5.7% Professional, Scientific, &; Technical Services,9% Health Care & Social Assistance,6.2% Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting,8.8% Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation,14.7% Accommodation & Food Service,13.2% Retail Trade,25.6% Various Industries


“You can get as little or as much help as you need. They are an invaluable resource for any business needing assistance, with no agenda other than to help you succeed.”

Edward & Meredith Bolton, Business Owners
Bolton Electric, Windham

Results by County

Results By County

“Being a business owner, you must wear many hats, and SBDC has helped me figure out a lot of the “how do I do that” piece of things. I am so thankful for Alison and SBDC. I wouldn’t be here today without her help.”

– Chelsea Crane, Business Owner
Crosswind Investments, Bangor

Financial Overview

Source Description of FUNDING breaks down as follows, U.S. Small Business Administration - $777,777 or 30% Maine Dept. of Economic and Community Dev. - $683,684 or 27% Host Organizations - $489,499 or 19% U.S. Deptartment of Treasury - $247.835 or10% University of Southern Maine - $80,200 or 3% Community Development Block Grant - $150,000 or 6% Maine Technology Institute - $100,000 or 4% Contracts: State Other - $35,000 or 1% Program Income, Sponsorships, Misc. - $9,034 or less than 1%

Excludes USM cost share and in-kind contributions of $526,713

Expense Description of expenditures breaks down as follows, Personnel - 1,852,216 or 72% Indirect Costs - 310,731 or 12% Operating Expenses - 156,922 or 6% Contracted Program Services - 2,811 or less than 1% Deferred Expenses - 467,077 or 6% Travel - 66,355 or 3% Equipment & Software - 16,917 or1 1%

*Various project years normalized to calendar year format

Client Stories

SBDC Partners

The SBDC is a cooperative effort that leverages federal, state, and higher education resources to help entrepreneurs and small businesses to start, grow and succeed.

The U.S. Small Business Administration funds and administers the nationwide SBDC program to assist current and prospective business owners. Working with local SBA district offices, SBDC offers services tailored to local communities and individual clients to help promote entrepreneurship and small business growth.

The State of Maine provides funding through DECD support to the Maine SBDC program. Maine SBDC and DECD work together to support business development and economic growth throughout Maine by ensuring entrepreneurs and small business owners can confidently navigate the process of starting and growing their businesses.

Over 45 years ago, the University of Southern Maine (USM) piloted the Maine SBDC to provide essential management assistance and education to Maine’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. Since those initial days, USM has continued to provide critical support and guidance on the operation of the SBDC program across the State.

The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) provides funding to the Maine SBDC program. Maine SBDC and MTI share common goals, including the development of individual entrepreneurs within the State of Maine towards sustainable economic growth.

Critical to the Maine SBDC’s success are the partner organizations that staff our business advisors across Maine. These long term partners include:

Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG) has two SBDC business advisors. AVCOG is a regional planning agency serving Western Maine communities including Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties.

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) has six SBDC business advisors located throughout Central Maine. CEI is a Community Development Corporation that helps grow good jobs, environmentally sustainable enterprises, and shared prosperity in Maine and other rural regions.

Northern Maine Development Commission staff has one SBDC business advisor. NMDC is a regional planning and economic development organization serving Aroostook and Washington Counties.