What Is SCORE?
SCORE is a nonprofit association comprised of 13,000 volunteer business mentors throughout the U.S. and its territories. There are 370 SCORE chapters in urban, suburban and rural communities. SCORE members are trained to serve as mentors and advisors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. These services are offered at no fee, as a community service. SCORE was formed in 1964 and over 4.5 million Americans have utilized SCORE services. The Lehigh Valley Chapter of SCORE was started in 1965 as Chapter 74.
- What services does SCORE offer?
- Is my business eligible to get help from SCORE?
- How many people has SCORE helped?
- How can SCORE help me?
- What is meant by mentoring?
- How does SCORE help women entrepreneurs?
- Are business secrets safe with SCORE?
- How does SCORE help minority entrepreneurs?
- What does it take to become a SCORE Volunteer?
SCORE offers free mentoring and low-cost workshops and seminars. Workshop topics are chosen to help address specific interests in a given community. The Lehigh Valley chapter regularly runs the Starting or Restarting Your Business Workshop and also runs regular Roundtable events covering important business topics including marketing, management, legal and accounting. (See Workshops).
Any small business can get SCORE mentoring. Whether you are starting a business, experiencing problems, need assistance in growing or buying/selling a business, SCORE can help. All mentoring is strictly personal and confidential.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped over eight million entrepreneurs and small businesses. It provides about 450,000 business services a year. In Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties, SCORE mentors about 300 entrepreneurs a year.
In times of economic change, you must be diligent in preparing advance plans. Begin by developing a business plan with realistic sales projections and a plan to hold the line on costs. SCORE can provide advice to help you develop or update your plan.
All clients, whether involved in a start up or existing business, may benefit from mentoring on a one time or repeat basis. Mentoring refers to a situation where an existing business decides it needs special help on one or more aspects of its daily operations. Under these circumstances, a SCORE mentor will be assigned to establish the precise nature of the assistance required; then one or more mentors with the expertise needed will be called in to work with the client until the problem is resolved.
Women now employ 11 million people and own one-third of the total number of businesses with fewer than 500 employees. SCORE is serving an increasing number of women entrepreneurs: Over 40% of SCORE’s individual mentoring clients are women and more than 4,000 women a month attend SCORE workshops.
Yes. All SCORE business mentors honor the client’s right to proprietary and confidential information. Client information remains confidential. All SCORE mentors abide by an association Code of Ethics which includes protecting the confidences between client and mentor. Each year, mentors reaffirm their commitment to the SCORE Code of Ethics.
Minority owned businesses employ more than 4.5 million people and own more than three million businesses. Nationally SCORE is serving an increasing number of minority entrepreneurs: Over 16% of SCORE’s individual mentoring clients are minorities and more than 1,000 minority entrepreneurs a month attend SCORE workshops.
SCORE mentors come from a variety of occupations and backgrounds. Many owned small businesses for years while others worked for major firms such as AT&T, Air Products, and Fuller Company. Their backgrounds and skill areas are widely diversified. They span all generations and minority/ethnic groups. If you feel you have the qualifications, please contact the SCORE Lehigh Valley office at (610) 266-3000 to initiate the interview process.