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Representing sectors from farming to janitorial services, eight small businesses and one nonprofit were honored last week by SCORE Maine, whose volunteer mentors helped thousands of clients launch 235 startups in 2022.
This year’s winners, announced at a celebratory event last week in Freeport, include Lauren Gray, founder of Cranberry Oysters, and Manasse Shingiro, a Rwandan genocide survivor who founded Casco Bay Cleaning in Portland.
Gray was the winner of the Aquaculture Successful Business Award, while Shingiro won the Diverse Successful Business Award.
“The small business award winners represent the backbone of the Maine economy,” said Nancy Strojny, assistant district director at SCORE Maine and a Mainebiz Woman to Watch honoree in 2017.
"Beyond providing job growth,” she added, “they help preserve Maine’s unique culture and communities.”
SCORE, which has local chapters in southern, central and northern Maine and collaborates with a number of organizations across the state, is a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Shannon Kinney, founder and chief client success officer at Dream Local Digital, a Thomaston-based digital marketing agency, was the keynote speaker at last week's SCORE awards luncheon.
"It was an incredible honor to be featured as the keynote speaker at the annual SCORE Awards banquet, where I shared the six top lessons I've learned on my entrepreneurial journey," she told Mainebiz.
She added that "it was so inspiring to hear the stories of the nine award recipients, and to see that our own SCORE chapter here in Maine is No. 1 in the nation for impact and satisfaction ... Just amazing!"
Kinney was honored as a Mainebiz Woman to Watch in 2013.
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