Michael Libby first encountered New Ventures Maine in 2015, when he completed a Business Basics course. After this class, he was referred to the Family Development Account (FDA) program. The FDA program is a matched savings program that would allow him to save for business growth and development.
Steps to Small Business Success
Later in 2015, Mike successfully applied for and opened an FDA, with plans to use it for his business. He then took My Money Works through NVME. Even though he knew how to develop a spending plan, the class helped him, “to reinforce that I needed to commit to saving to meet my long-term goals.”
In the fall of 2016, Mike decided to take NVME’s longer-term Venturing Forth class. While taking the class, Mike continued to work for his father’s business as he honed his personal business plan. During this time, he also prepared a comprehensive marketing and branding plan for his business. His dedication throughout the class brought him closer to opening his business.
In the fall of 2017, Mike completed the FDA program. He saved $1,000 and received a match of $4,000. These funds helped him buy a blower door – an essential piece of equipment needed to measure home heating efficiency.
Making His Dream a Reality
Mike credits Venturing Forth as a “catalyst” to succeeding with his business start-up. Taking the class, Mike says, “reassured me that I was on the right track” and helped him to assess risk. The FDA also helped buy the needed equipment to go out on his own. Mike is excited to be the owner of Aroostook eNRG, a business that focuses on helping people make their homes more energy efficient.
Mike has taken a short leave of absence from his business to complete the necessary certifications. He explains, “[I am] sacrificing short-term goals for the longer-term goal” of being the sole operator of his business. He notes that more people need to know about the FDA program. He tells others that “the requirements are not overwhelming for what you receive in return.” Mike says that sometimes people “just need a little bit of a leg up” to make their dream a reality – and he was able to get that from New Ventures Maine.