SCORE.org – ONE OF THE BEST RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS MENTORING AND EDUCATION I HAVE FOUND
What is SCORE.org?
SCORE is the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters.
As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 10 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964.
What Do They Do: Help Small Businesses Like Yours
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for over fifty years.
Because our work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and thanks to our network of 10,000 volunteers, we are able to deliver our services at no charge or at very low cost.
We can provide:
- Volunteer MENTORS who share their expertise across 62 industries
- Free, confidential business MENTORING in person, via email or by video
- Free business TOOLS, templates and tips here online
- Inexpensive or free business WORKSHOPS (locally) and webinars (online 24/7)
Our 300 chapters hold events and workshops locally across the U.S. and its territories, and match up entrepreneurs with local, volunteer mentors.
How can I maximize my experience with SCORE?
- Your mentor will likely recommend different services to better meet your needs, including a small group workshop or on-line materials, to accentuate mentoring. Take advantage as they are supplemental to the advice you are receiving.
- SCORE does not provide grants, business loans, CPA services, or legal services, but your mentor may be able to suggest outside resources to assist you in those areas. Keep an open mind about what you think you may need initially, and work with your mentor to try to find a solution.
- Your business is not built in a day. Similarly, you benefit most from SCORE by meeting with a mentor for more than a one-hour appointment. Before the conclusion of your initial session, your mentor (or someone from the local SCORE office) will schedule another appointment for you or assist you in finding the correct resource. You should meet with your mentor regularly to maximize your chances of success.
What qualifies SCORE volunteers to give business advice?
The key qualification SCORE mentors bring is real-world business experience. They are working and retired business owners, executives and managers who have been through the same challenges and decisions that many entrepreneurs are facing today.
In addition, SCORE teamed up with Deluxe Corporation to develop the Mentoring Methodology Training program for the orientation and certification of volunteer mentors. Designed by SCORE mentors and a panel of industry experts, the program gives new and experienced mentors access to proven tools and methods of success. It is these mentor tools and process that have resulted in the success of more than 56,000 new businesses and over 47,000 jobs created in 2014.
The Mentoring Methodology Training program is based on 5 key components represented by the acronym SLATE:
- Stop and Suspend Judgment
- Listen and Learn
- Assess and Analyze
- Test Ideas and Teach with Tools
- Expectation Setting and Encouraging the Dream
Working with a SCORE-certified mentor means personalized guidance and support from those who have “been there” and are equipped with the optimal tools to help others succeed too.
What resources are available on SCORE.org?
Since 1997, SCORE has offered a leading online business resource for entrepreneurs – www.score.org. This site is a comprehensive small business resource that includes SCORE’s mentoring service. Entrepreneurs visit www.score.org/find-mentor to search a database of SCORE mentors or request a mentor match. SCORE’s website also offers “how-to” guides, small business quizzes, online workshops, LIVE Webinars, and the SCORE Small Business Blog with info on current trends in entrepreneurship.
SCORE is headquartered in Herndon, VA — https://www.score.org