MILLINOCKET – Entrepreneurs in the Millinocket region will have a chance to learn about starting a business or getting a leg up on starting one through the Incubator without Walls program offered by Penquis CAP.
Beginning the evening of Jan. 14, the program will include discussions on entry and growth strategies, Internet marketing and finance management, according to Darrell Gentry, a micro-enterprise consultant with Penquis CAP. The program also will be offered in Lincoln beginning Feb. 9.
Funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Department of Agriculture, the IWW program is open to current business owners or anyone mulling over the idea of starting one up, Gentry said. Held previously in Bangor, Dover-Foxcroft and Patten, the program focuses on helping entrepreneurs understand where to look for answers, he said.
“Most of the time when people go into business, they’re either undercapitalized or they just don’t have the knowledge they should have to start a business,” Gentry said. “Hopefully, this program will help with both of those things.”
Business professionals will be on hand to share expertise in their respective fields and each meeting will include ample time for questions, Gentry said. Attendance will be important, Gentry said, and small research assignments will be used to supplement the program’s topics.
Gentry also will be available outside the classroom to offer assistance in executing a business plan or similar activities, he said. He also plans to check in with the businesses over the coming year.
“We’re going to be working with them right through the process,” Gentry said. “They’re not going to be alone in this.”
Penquis CAP has been working with the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council and the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce to bring the program to the Millinocket area, which has experienced significant economic difficulties over the last year.
“It’s been hard hit with mill closures, and people are looking into other sources of income,” Gentry said. “We want businesses to not only start but grow and expand into that community.”
The programs can each accommodate 25-30 people and the program will run again next spring for anyone who wasn’t able to participate, he said.
The IWW program in Millinocket will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. every other Wednesday beginning Jan. 14 at the Katahdin Paper Engineering and Research facility. The program will be held in Lincoln from 5:30 to 8 p.m. every other Monday beginning Feb. 9 at the Region 3 school. For information, or to reserve a space, call Gentry at the Lincoln office at 794-3093 or in Bangor at 973-3612.