Outdoor Recreation Industry Experts to Support Emerging Maine Outdoor Businesses and Entrepreneurs through New Compass Program

PORTLAND, Maine, February 2, 2022 – The Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE) announced today that it is partnering with Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB) to provide in-depth training and networking to outdoor industry product, service, and retail companies seeking to expand their businesses. The new ten-week program called MCE Compass, is made possible by a grant awarded from the Maine Community Foundation along with support from a number public and private sponsors including Norway Savings Bank and Maine Outdoor Brands.

MCE has recruited industry veteran Edgard “Ponch” Membreño to manage the new Compass program.  Membreño, who has worked for industry leaders such as Patagonia and Toad & Co., brings a depth of industry knowledge and contacts from over 25 years of experience in the outdoor industry. Participants of the MCE Compass program will have the opportunity to work with industry leaders from companies like L.L.Bean, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, 1% for the Planet and more. Speakers will be discussing topics like scaling up operations for national and international markets, supply chain sustainability and social responsibility, and new product innovation using design thinking, among others.

“We are really excited about this new initiative,” Said Tom Rainey, Executive Director of MCE, “We’re working with industry experts from across the country to provide “hands on” training to Maine’s most promising outdoor recreation companies.  The goal is to provide the strategies and resources necessary to scale their businesses.”

“Maine Outdoor Brands looks forward to working with MCE in our shared goal of matching businesses with impactful business support services,” said Jenny Kordick, Executive Director, Maine Outdoor Brands. “This is an important and much needed initiative to bolster a promising growth area in Maine’s economy. MOB is providing a range of support services from industry advocacy in Augusta, to strategic trade shows and marketing, to workshops and training programs like Compass.”

According to a recent report from the U. S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, Maine’s outdoor recreation industry made up 3.3 percent of the state’s economy in 2020, ranking it fifth in the country.

The MCE Compass program is now accepting applications for the March 1st opening.

About Maine Center for Entrepreneurs: 

Established in 1997, MCE’s mission is to build and lead a community of growth-oriented businesses in Maine by providing the training, connections, coaching and mentors they need to commercialize and grow their ideas, products, and services so that their companies will drive the growth of Maine’s economy. Over its 25-year history, the organization has accelerated the growth of hundreds of businesses and established a mentor network of over 220 members. Visit www.mced.biz for more information.

About Maine Outdoor Brands

Maine Outdoor Brands continues to work to unite, grow, and give a voice to the state’s outdoor recreation industry, supporting knowledge sharing, collaborative marketing, and commerce efforts and access to professional resources. MOB is committed to seeing Maine-based products, services, and retail brands thrive, and today has over 150-member brands that are a part of the mission. www.maineoutdoorbrands.com