Business Planning Resources

General Business Planning

Aquaculture Business Planning
Recorded webinar hosted by the University of Iowa’s North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC)

Eastern Maine Development Corporation
Provides a variety of business resources in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and portions of Waldo County

Global Aquaculture Alliance
An international non-governmental organization dedicated to advocacy, education, and leadership in promoting responsible aquaculture practices

Guide to Federal Aquaculture Programs and Services
A catalog that describes all Federal programs and activities that directly or indirectly encourage, support, or assist U.S. aquaculture

Kelp Farming Manual
Guide to starting a kelp farm in Maine, courtesy of Ocean Approved

Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
Provides a variety of business development services

Maine Department of Marine Resources
Manages the state’s aquaculture leasing & licensing program

National Aquaculture Association
Works “to provide a unified national voice for aquaculture that ensures its sustainability, protects its profitability, and encourages its development in an environmentally responsible manner”

National Association of State Aquaculture Coordinators (NASAC)
Works “to promote, to encourage, and to assist the development of aquaculture among Federal, State, local and tribal government agencies; agricultural research and extension institutions; and trade and marketing organizations”

National Working Waterfront Network
Works to “increase the capacity of coastal communities and stakeholders to make informed decisions, balance diverse uses, ensure access, and plan for the future of working waterfronts and waterways”

Scallop Farming Factsheet
A comprehensive guide to scallop farming in Maine

Marketing & Communications

Branding Opportunities for Oyster Farmers
A webinar series sponsored by the National Aquaculture Association, US Aquaculture Society and the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center

Business Startup Guide for Young Entrepreneurs
Developed by IgniteSpot, this guide is full of great resources for young people looking to start a business

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry 
Provides assistance in developing new markets for aquaculture products and manages several grants programs to assist aquatic farmers

A volunteer organization of retired executives providing counseling and assistance to those wishing to start or improve their business

Research Institutions

Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center
MAIC sponsors and facilitates innovative research and development projects involving food, pharmaceuticals, and other products from sustainable aquatic systems; invests in the enhancement of aquaculture capacity in Maine

Maine Cooperative Extension Risk Management and Crop Insurance Education Program
Supports terrestrial & aquatic farmers in developing risk management plans and provides crop insurance consulting & support

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
“Is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere”

NOAA Coastal Aquaculture Siting & Sustainability Program
Provides “high quality science, guidance, and technical support to coastal managers to grow sustainable aquaculture while maintaining and improving ecosystem health”

Northeast Coastal Acidification Network
“The leading group in the region for the synthesis and dissemination of ocean and coastal acidification information”

Resources for Seaweed Farmers
A landing page designed to share the best science and farming practices related to seaweed culture with current and future Maine seaweed farmers

Seaweed Culture in New England
6-part video tutorial on culturing economically valuable seaweeds for New England”

UMaine Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology
Provides scientific expertise covering a broad array of disciplines, including aquaculture

University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Connects academic researchers with businesses, farms, and communities — in every corner of Maine

Financial Institutions

Coastal Enterprises Inc.
Provides financing and business consulting services from its principal office in Brunswick, ME

Eastern Maine Development Corporation
Provides a variety of business resources in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and portions of Waldo County

Efficiency Maine
Offers a variety of business incentive programs to help reduce energy costs

Finance Authority of Maine
Helps businesses access capital to grow, expand and succeed

Maine & Company
Helps out-of-state businesses move to Maine

Maine Angels
Invests in and mentors start up companies

Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development
Helps Maine’s most promising entrepreneurs to grow through innovation

Maine International Trade Center
 Maine’s leading source for international business assistance

Maine Small Business Development Centers
Provides comprehensive business management advice and education services to Maine from six locations throughout the state

Maine Technology Institute
Offers assistance in the form of competitive grants, loans and equity investment for the research, development and application of technologies that create new products, processes and services

Maine Venture Fund
A venture capital fund that invests exclusively in Maine companies that demonstrate a potential for high growth and public benefit

SBIR/STTR Programs
Provides federal research funding and technology transfer solutions for small businesses