Betsy Biemann | CEO of Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
Betsy Biemann believes that if you work hard, you should be able to earn a decent livelihood. In 2016 she became the CEO of Coastal Enterprises, a community development investor that finances and advises small businesses that provide jobs and strengthen communities in rural regions and small gateway cities. Since its founding, CEI has evolved into a family of organizations that work across Maine, northern New England, and nationally. In her role, Biemann oversees diverse programs that coach women and immigrant entrepreneurs, use tax credits to redevelop historic buildings, and finance large companies, and advocates for public policies expanding access to the internet, childcare, and affordable housing. Biemann says CEI’s investments help people in rural communities thrive and reinvent themselves. “Seeing businesses grow and the pride that people have in their work is incredibly rewarding,” she says of the 40,000 full-time jobs that CEI has helped create and retain over its 41-year history. Before joining CEI, Biemann worked at the Rockefeller Foundation, served as president of Maine Technology Institute, and led a Harvard University study highlighting how Maine’s farming, food, and beverage manufacturing industries generate business and job growth and contribute to statewide prosperity. She serves on the board of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of Maine’s people and the environment in which they live. Through her leadership at CEI, Biemann works toward building an economy that benefits all Mainers. “When the economy is not working for everyone, it is not working for Maine or our nation,” she says.