What Is SCORE and How Can It Help MWBEs?

Whether you’re looking for a mentor or trying to find business advice, helpful resources are often scarce. This is particularly true for minority and women business owners, who tend to have fewer peers and less access to mentors in their field. Nevertheless, a number of options do exist. One of these is SCORE, an organization that offers small business owners a nationwide network of volunteers who can help them succeed.

What Is SCORE?

The SCORE Association is a nonprofit that partners with the Small Business Administration to pair entrepreneurs with mentors in their industry. The organization currently has over 300 offices in locations across the country, and over 10,000 volunteers. Volunteer mentors are working and retired business owners who have completed a series of training modules and a probationary period during which they shadow an experienced mentor and participate in team mentoring for three months. You can meet with a mentor in person at business office near you or, if there’s no office in your vicinity, meetings can be scheduled via video chat. All mentoring sessions and follow-up sessions are free.

SCORE also offers small business owners a number of online resources, including live and recorded webinars and interactive courses that can be taken “on demand.” The organization also hosts an extensive online library that includes how-to manuals, infographics, blog posts, informational articles, and downloadable templates and checklists. All of these resources are also available free of charge.

Lastly, if there is a SCORE office in your community, you may have access to round table discussions, live classes and networking events. Some of these may be free while others may require that you pay a small fee, which goes towards the development of tools and other resources used during the events.

How Can I Take Advantage of SCORE Services?

The easiest way to find a SCORE mentor in your industry is to search SCORE’s online database. You may search by ZIP code, or enter a keyword to view profiles of available mentors in your field. Or if you prefer, you can fill out an online questionnaire and your local SCORE office will select a mentor for you based upon the information you provide. The questionnaire will ask about your business, your business goals and the specific business question you need to answer now. So spend some time thinking about these issues before submitting your request.

Each meeting with your mentor, whether in person or via video conference, will last about one hour. At the end of the session, your mentor will ask if they have been of assistance and, if they have, set up another time to meet. Regular mentoring sessions are key to SCORE’s coaching model and to your business’ success.

If for some reason you are unhappy with the first mentor you’re paired with, you may contact SCORE via email at  mentoring@score.org to request a new one. Be sure to let the agency know how the first mentor fell short so they can find someone who will be a better fit.

To use any of SCORE’s other services, simply go to the SCORE website to find a class or webinar or to access the free library.

About The Carmoon Group

The Carmoon Group Ltd. is a minority-owned insurance brokerage headquartered in Hicksville, New York. Through our large network of nationwide affiliates, we offer risk management solutions and comprehensive insurance programs for businesses in a wide range of industries. We have the expertise and experience to provide you optimal coverage at the best possible price. So why not give us a call today to set up an appointment for your insurance review? Or if you prefer, just reach out online and we’ll get back to you at a convenient time.

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