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Updated: March 15, 2024

Lewiston startup accelerator for underserved entrepreneurs names starting lineup

Diverse entrepreneurs at a table File photo / Courtesy, Entrepreneurship for All Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that aims to accelerate economic and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship. Shown here are members of the Lawrence, Mass., cohort in 2020.

Entrepreneurship for All Maine (EforAll), a Lewiston-based business accelerator for underserved founders, has unveiled its starting lineup of five businesses — ranging from doggy day care to sustainable travel.

The five topped more than 60 applicants for the program, which has funding for three years from the Maine Technology Institute. EforAll is now seeking a full-time executive director to succeed Obinna Okani, who is no longer with the organization. The online job posting advertises an annual salary of up to $85,000.

Inaugural cohort participants represent Maine’s Black, Indigenous, People of Color, female and rural entrepreneurs, "chosen for their creativity, potential to innovate and commitment to their ventures, which are as diverse as they are as a group,” Kelly Enberg, program manager for EforAll Maine, told Mainebiz. 

“From catering to nonprofit service, the range of industries in this cohort is very exciting," she added.

Entrepreneurship for All is a Lowell, Mass.-based nonprofit on a mission to accelerate economic and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship.

Photo / provided
Lona Cosmas of travel consultancy Care of Travel

EforAll Maine cohort members 

  • Divinely Favored (Westbrook), a food service and catering company providing African cuisine and event celebration setup and decorations.
  • United Dynamic (Lewiston), dedicated to supporting newcomers in Maine by providing internships and workforce readiness programs to help New Mainers overcome language barriers and family challenges to pursue their professional aspirations. 
  • Lil Zoomies (Waldo County), a dog day care enrichment center and day boarding facility that caters to dogs weighing 30 pounds or under.
  • Cary Ouelette (Topsham), a "transformational mentor" for women via energy healing and aromatherapy.
  • Care of Travel (Portland), a travel consultancy specializing in sustainable tourism for busy professionals. 

“A year ago, we proudly announced the launch of EforAll Maine,” said Krystal Williams, the organization's local advisory council chair and donor.“This inaugural cohort represents the promise we are making to Maine entrepreneurs who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color as well as other underrepresented Mainers with business aspirations."

Williams, founder of the Provident Group and nonprofit Alpha Legal Foundation, was honored as a Mainebiz Woman to Watch in 2021.

EforAll’s business accelerator program will be offered twice a year to help participants start, grow and sustain a business or nonprofit. Participants will receive three months of intensive classes taught by industry experts, nine months of ongoing support, guidance from mentors and help accessing seed capital.

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