Business Lending Solutions, a Hampden company that helps credit unions with commercial lending, is sponsoring the University of Maine’s Business Challenge with a $10,000 donation each year through 2018.

In its sixth year, the UBC is a collegiate business competition for students attending Maine colleges and universities. Students from schools across the state compete for more than $20,000 of cash and in-kind consulting to help start or grow their business.

“This agreement represents a turning point for the UMaine Business Challenge, allowing us to shift our focus from prize fundraising to developing high-quality programming that teaches students how to create and present a successful business plan,” said Nicholas LaJoie, chair of the event’s planning committee. “We’re very excited to partner with Business Lending Solutions on this next phase of the UMaine Business Challenge.”

In addition to funding a first place cash prize of $5,000, the company will provide competitors with consulting support throughout the competition, and work to help expand the competition’s reach and encourage greater statewide participation.

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