The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center’s mission is to serve as a hub of collaboration that strengthens the immigrant community through language acquisition, economic integration, and civic engagement.
Among the organization’s programs is The Immigrant Business Hub. This program helps immigrants understand, navigate and thrive as an integral part of the Maine business community. The Greater Portland Immigrant Center (IWC) is building programs to support the development and success of new and established immigrant-owned businesses and offer seminars with experts from different business professions, access to co-working space and other IWCs resources, and the opportunity to connect with the others in the business community.
IWC helps immigrant business owners access funds to keep their companies thriving. One of these is The Indus Fund Microfinance Loan which offers below interest rate loans to first-generation owned business owners.
IWC’s Citizenship and Civic Engagement Initiative intends to proactively support Maine’s immigrants in engaging in the civic processes that carry such high stakes for their lives.
There are 11,000+ immigrants eligible for citizenship in Maine. Through canvassing and community partnerships, IWC finds and reaches this population to connect them to financial, translation, legal, and administrative support and resources to help them with the citizenship application process.
IWC worked in partnership with cPort to create The Citizenship Loan. This loan helps cover the cost of the steps toward reaching citizenship and establishing credit.