Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Discover Downtown Westbrook is excited to announce the launch of our Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Project!

An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is a business support system. It can also be described as a guide, or map, of resources within the community for those risk-takers eager to be their own boss and start their own businesses. This project is part of a multi-community initiative across the state to examine the current ecosystem or the resources and opportunities that exist within each community for entrepreneurs. Westbrook is one of nine communities participating!

We are looking to engage entrepreneurs of all stages, from inception to successful and thriving businesses and everything in between. The goal is to reach entrepreneurs across the city of Westbrook.

The first step is to map out the assets in our community to see what resources and opportunities exist. This is done through surveys, a focus group with entrepreneurs, and a series of discussions with stakeholders.

Once this data is collected, it is reviewed, analyzed, and then summarized to help identify what strengths and opportunities there are in Westbrook. The project includes both planning and implementation funds.

Stay tuned for more information!

The survey is now closed, thank you so much to all who participated by filling it out!

What is an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem?

An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is a business support network routed in a specific place. There are six components that define the environment an entrepreneur or business owner will encounter when they begin to build or grow their businesses.

Social Capital – what networking opportunities or mentorship resources are available?

Financial Capital- what diversity of financial resources are available to small business owners?

Culture– does the community support entrepreneurs? Is there a Buy Local initiative? Does the community celebrate business openings?

Regulation– what online information or resources exist to help guide people through business creation or start up? What ordinances or zoning exist that help to support or challenge business creation? 

Education & Training– what education or training resources exist for both the business owners or for their employees?

Human Capital– are there programs in place to support women, minorities, or youth in the creation of businesses? 

It is the combination of these six elements that create the environment, or ecosystem, that a business exists. When all of these pieces are in place, it creates a welcoming environment for entrepreneurs and businesses to grow and thrive. 


An ecosystem is typically defined as all of the living and nonliving things in an environment that helps to create life and allow it to thrive. An entrepreneurial ecosystem are all the organizations and resources within a community, that help to support the creation and growth of businesses.

An entrepreneur is anyone who starts a business. For this project we are interested in entrepreneurs who are just starting out, as well as those who have been in business for years, and everyone in between.

No! We are interested in entrepreneurs throughout the City of Westbrook.

Any entrepreneur who participates in our survey is entered to win a gift card. We will be raffling off five gift cards for those who participate.

We are looking to gather data from 100 entrepreneurs across Westbrook. If you have started a business in Westbrook, we want to hear from you!

The more entrepreneurs that take the survey, the more we can understand what opportunities and challenges they are facing. The survey only takes 15 minutes to complete, and we will be raffling off five $50 gift cards to downtown businesses of their choice for those who participate.

We are collecting information about entrepreneurs in Westbrook in three ways. 1) We have an online survey. 2) We are hosting a focus group discussion with entrepreneurs. 3) We are hosting a series of conversations with stakeholders and the organizations that help support people creating businesses.

Once the data is collected, it is shared with experts in this field, who review, analyze and then summarize it to help identify what strengths and opportunities there are in Westbrook. This information is then shared with our steering committee, who will create a project to invest in Westbrook to help create an environment that makes it easier to start a business.

Are you an entrepreneur? If so, please take our survey!

Do you know an entrepreneur? We would love for you to help share the word about our project and ask entrepreneurs to participate in the survey. The more people who take the survey, the better understanding of what entrepreneurs are facing here in Westbrook.

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Contact us

Discover Downtown Westbrook
P.O. Box 269
Westbrook, Maine 04098

[email protected]

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