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Posted on: May 18, 2018

City Partners Up to Provide Free Immigrant Entrepreneurship Workshops in June

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An Immigrant Entrepreneurship Workshop series is being offered throughout June by the City of Portland to assist New Mainers with starting a business. The workshop will cover the pros and cons of owning your own business, the steps needed for start-up, the basics of a business plan, marketing, cash planning and the many resources available to help small business owners in Maine succeed.  

The workshops will be offered on June 4, 6, 11, and 13 from 3:45 PM to 5:45 PM at Portland Adult Education, Room 10, 14 Locust Street in Portland. 

It is no secret that there is consistently higher entrepreneurial activity among immigrants than among native-born U.S. citizens. In the U.S., immigrants are almost twice as likely to become entrepreneurs as native-born citizens. Immigrants represent 27.5% of the countries’ entrepreneurs but only around 13% of the population. More than 40% of businesses on the U.S. Fortune 500 List have been built by immigrants.

And this pattern, of course, extends to Maine. In 2016, despite making up 4.6% of the overall population in Portland’s Metro area, immigrants represented 7.8% of the entrepreneurs in the same region.

Despite this consistent tendency, immigrant entrepreneurs continue to face persistent challenges before they can start their own business. Low English proficiency, a brand new market with new cultural norms and regulations, a low familiarity with the lending ecosystem, and an overall lack of familiarity with day to day U.S. business operations can be among the most prominent obstacles.

As a result, the City of Portland's Economic Development Department and the Office of Economic Opportunity have partnered with New Ventures Maine and the New Mainer's Resource Center in order to deliver a customized workshop for Immigrant Entrepreneurs. The City is grateful to Gorham Savings Bank and CPort Credit Union who have sponsored this
workshop series.  

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