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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 agencies:

  • 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 Development (CBER)
  • 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 that would:

  • 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 the state;
  • and develop a comprehensive on-line resource of business development information for the small business community and the general public of Maine.

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 system.

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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