Mission and Values

CEI (Coastal Enterprises, Inc.) is an expert in rural business funding, development and financing.  A private, nonprofit Community Development Corporation (CDC) and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in Brunswick, Maine, CEI was founded in 1977 to develop job-creating natural resources and small business ventures in rural regions of Maine, and has grown to serve business funding all of Maine, its primary market, and areas of northern New England and upstate New York. With its New Markets Tax Credit Program, CEI is able to invest in projects throughout rural America.

CEI does its work by funding, lending and investing in small and medium sized businesses, and providing business support and technical counseling services to those who need them. A pioneer in its field, CEI is one of the nation’s premiere rural CDC/CDFIs.

CEI has subsidiaries and affiliates that enable it to expand its programs and services, such as:

CEI embraces a comprehensive approach to building assets, linking business financing to job creation, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, policy advocacy and research. The organization operates in primarily rural markets where financial returns are not sufficient to attract traditional investment, but where CEI’s goal of achieving economic, social and environmental benefits can be satisfied.

Ron Phillips, Founder of CEI, speaks on public television’s “Conversations with Maine.” 


Our mission is to help create economically and environmentally healthy communities in which all people, especially those with low incomes, can reach their full potential.


Social Justice – Our fundamental belief in equality of opportunity and economic empowerment for all drives our efforts to create healthy, sustainable communities.
Integrity – We are honest, ethical, and forthright in our communications and all aspects of our work.
Excellence – We pursue the highest quality in all that we do.
Stewardship – We use available resources effectively to create sustainable, long-term benefits.
Innovation – We originate and develop innovative ideas and processes for our organization and with communities.
Collaboration – We work with and support individuals, organizations, and communities towards a common purpose by sharing information, effort, and resources.