Main Street Skowhegan and Skowhegan Savings Bank launched the second Entrepreneur Challenge in September 2017.
Open to anyone looking to start or expand a business in Skowhegan, the Entrepreneur Challenge will feature a series of seminars designed to provide participants with in-depth information about starting a business. Participants will hear from small business owners about their experiences as well as from business professionals about insurance needs, financing options, required permits, and more. More information about the seminars, including dates, is available in the 2017-18 program.
During the challenge, participants will learn how to craft a business plan from start to finish, and they’ll compete for a benefits package of more than $23,000 by submitting their completed plan and presenting their business idea to a panel of judges.
The benefits package includes the following:
- $10,000 forgivable loan from partner and leading sponsor Skowhegan Savings Bank
- Consulting from Kyes-Carpenter Insurance
- Three months of payroll services from Total Payroll Solutions, Inc.
- Consulting services from H&R Block
- Carpentry services from Dionne & Son Builders
- One-year membership to the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce
- Computer supplies and business backup software from Computer Improvements
- Legal consulting from Mills, Shay, Lexier & Talbot
- Three months of internet access and up to two phone lines from Bee Line Cable
- Photography services from Brandie Burrill Photography
- Promotional video produced by Somerset Community Television
- Reduced rent from participating property owners
- Storefront signage design and development from York Signs
- Website design, marketing consultation, and promotional services from Main Street Skowhegan.
2017-18 Entrepreneur Challenge Timeline:
- September 15, 2017: Registration opens
- September 27, 2017: Skowhegan Chamber’s Business After Hours event at Skowhegan Savings Bank, featuring announcements about the challenge
Seminars will take place at 6 p.m. at Skowhegan Savings Bank, 13 Elm Street, Skowhegan:
- October 11, 2017: Phase 1 – Starting Your Maine Business seminar (part one)
- October 25, 2017: Phase 2 – Starting Your Maine Business seminar (part two) and criteria for business concept
- November 1, 2017: Business concept pitches due
- November 15, 2017: Phase 3 – Creating Your Maine Business Plan seminar (part one)
- November 29, 2017: Phase 3 – Creating Your Maine Business Plan seminar (part two)
- December 6, 2017: Phase 3 – Creating Your Maine Business Plan seminar (part three)
- January 19, 2018: Phase 3 – Business plans due
- January 2018: Announcement of finalists advancing to Phase 4 – Final Pitch
- February 2018: Phase 4 – Final pitch presentations at Skowhegan Savings
- February 2018: Announcement of winner
- June 2018: Business must be open
For more details, including rules and regulations, please consult the 2017-18 program.
Developed by Main Street Skowhegan’s Business Enhancement Committee in 2015, the Entrepreneur Challenge is designed to strengthen Skowhegan’s economy and spur business development in the region. Learn more about the first Entrepreneur Challenge here.