Best Small Business Resources in the Portland Area

Small map with pin depicting Portland, ME

Starting a business is a life-changing experience. Maine has dozens of great resources to help entrepreneurs get started. Our team researched and vetted organizations in the Portland area and compiled our list of recommended resources in this article.

You can also read our guide to starting a business in Maine.

Resources Available in your Area

Maine Center for Entrepreneurs

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning

Offers Free Service

Description

The MCE is a leading organization that provides entrepreneurship mentoring and support to promising new business ventures. They typically support startups via an accelerator program called Top Gun or by connecting teams to compatible, local mentors. Top Gun is an annual program with a competitive selection process and a low fee for teams. The program entails weekly mentoring, workshops, and talks on relevant topics.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

63 Federal St, suite 7
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-8111
info@mced.biz


Association for Consulting Expertise

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring

Description

ACE is a non-profit association of independent business consultants in Maine, offering a broad range of support areas. Their consultants can help with anything from developing a marketing plan to financial advice. Though the organization is a non-profit, the consulting is paid.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

110 Marginal Way #142
Portland, ME 04101
(800) 464-5043
info@consultexpertise.com


CEI Southern Maine WBC Program

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Networking

Description

Women's Business Centers are nationwide programs established by the SBA to assist women in starting small businesses. Some of these centers are combined with other local organizations and use that relationship to offer even more services. Each Women's Business Center has counselors who can provide mentorship and assistance with business planning. Women’s Business Centers also provide a network of other businesses, and some have loan programs available

Restrictions

The Women's Business Centers are, as the name implies, meant for women primarily.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

2 Portland Fish Pier, Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-772-5356
wbc@ceimaine.org


Maine SBDC

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Financial

Offers Free Service

Description

The greatest strength of the SBDC is their free, confidential, 1-on-1 business mentoring for anyone who seeks it. Sometimes in order to be considered for mentoring from one of their professional business advisors, you may have to attend a class/workshop or at least present your business plan. SBDC's are located all throughout the state and you should use the SBDC closest to your location if possible, but you can often transfer to a different location if they do not fit your needs.


New Ventures Maine

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Financial

Offers Free Service

Description

New Ventures Maine is a non-profit economic development organization, offering free workshops and one-on-one counseling to adults seeking financial security. This statewide organization has several locations offering classes about starting a business (as well as personal finance and career preparation). The classes are free and offered online and/or in person.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

175 Main Street
South Portland, ME 04106
207.799.5025


Portland Public Library

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Research

Offers Free Service

Accepts Walks In

Description

The Portland Public Library offers access to research databases and educational classes on entrepreneurial topics. Databases include information on business publications, legal forms, and business insights.

Restrictions

A library membership may be required for some services.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

5 Monument Square
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 871-1700
reference@portlandpubliclibrary.org

HOURS OF OPERATION:

Sunday - Closed

Monday - 10:00AM - 7:00PM

Tuesday - 10:00AM - 7:00PM

Wednesday - 10:00AM - 7:00PM

Thursday - 10:00AM - 7:00PM

Friday - 10:00AM - 6:00PM

Saturday - 10:00AM - 5:00PM


Portland SCORE

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Networking

Offers Free Service

Description

SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) is a leading, nation-wide organization that has assisted millions of entrepreneurs over its 50+ years of operation. SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA that offers access to a network of experienced business leaders who donate time to mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners. They also host free or inexpensive workshops online and at 300 local chapters around the United States. Mentoring can be conducted either in person or remotely and is always free and confidential, no matter how often you take advantage of this service.


Think-Tank-Coworking

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Coworking

Description

Think Tank Coworking offers a creative coworking atmosphere in the heart of Portland’s Arts District. The space offers a variety of membership options ranging from shared spaces to private offices. Amenities include conference rooms, an event space, and lounge areas. This venue also hosts networking and entrepreneurial events like pitch competitions.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

533 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
800.994.5661
info@thinktankcoworking.com