Maine Business Works Orgins
Maine Business Works (MBW) is an on-line business development resource
for Maine. MBW was developed through a partnership of the following
- Maine's Economic Development Districts (Androscoggin Valley
Council of Governments, Eastern Maine Development Corporation,
Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, Northern Maine Development
Commission, Southern Maine Economic Development District).
- University of Southern Maine-Center for Business and Economic
- Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine MSBDC)
- Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)
- Central Maine Power
Maine Business Works was initially conceived in 1996 as a wide-area
network (WAN) connecting the Economic Development Districts of Maine
with the University of Southern Maine's Center for Business and
Economic Development (CBER) and the Maine Small Business Development
Centers (Maine MSBDC).
Funded through Department of Commerce Telecommunication Infrastructure
and Information Assistance Program (TIIAP) and the Maine Department
of Economic and Community Development (DECD) the original Economic
Development Network project was one of fourteen statewide telecommunication
projects funded by the TIIAP grant in 1996.
The infrastructure of the networking system was completed in 1997.
In early 1998, the principal partners met to discuss further development
of the network. At that time, the participants envisioned a system
- create secure intranets for principal participant organizations;
- form an extranet that would enable the sharing of data and
other resources among economic development service providers throughout
- and develop a comprehensive on-line resource of business development
information for the small business community and the general public
A new server and operating software were purchased and installed
during the spring and summer of 1998. Central Maine Power (CMP)
developed a database of commercial real estate listings and related
economic development information named Maine's Resource for Economic
Development (MRED) and elected to include MRED as part of the network
The name Maine Business Works was subsequently chosen as the system's
new domain name. From September of 1998, the principal partners
have been working to complete several pilot database applications.
Funding was also received from a Rural Business Enterprise Grant
through the US Department of Agriculture, Rural Development to support
the system's capacity to deliver on-line business development services
to rural parts of the State.
Maine Business Works Today
From 1998 ‘till 2004 Maine Business Works took on various purposes and relationships,
including becoming a project under the auspices of the Maine Department of Economic and
Community Development. In late 2004, Maine Small Business Development Centers took
over complete management and administration for MBW. Today Maine Business Works provides
access to a broad array of business development assistance available throughout the State
of Maine including business education, financing programs, and small business information
and/or assistance. Administered by the Maine Small Business Development Centers (Maine SBDC)
from its headquarters at the University of Southern Maine and managed by Maine SBDC’s Manager
of Computer and Information Technology, Maine Business Works provides prospective and
existing business owners easy access to many of the resources needed to develop and
grow a successful small business in Maine.
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