The SBA and SCORE
A nonprofit organization called the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) has members who provide free assistance and consulting to existing company owners and would-be entrepreneurs. Members of SCORE include corporate leaders and current or former company owners who have a range of business specialties.
The company has locations all across the United States and provides its services both in-person and online through email counseling services. It is not necessary to be a member of SCORE to get advice from the organization; any small company owner may phone and schedule a meeting with their regional SCORE office.
Launched in 1964, volunteers using SCORE may provide insight on a broad range of subjects, from examining the market potential for a new product to offering advice on managing cash flow. Additionally, they may provide guidance on how to launch a business, buy an existing company or franchise, or sell a company.
Working together with the Small Business Administration (SBA), a government agency. The primary goal of SCORE is to pair up these volunteer mentors with aspiring company owners and entrepreneurs who may use a wise second opinion and practical guidance.
Free mentoring is available from a SCORE volunteer. You may use SCORE’s Find a Mentor website to search for a mentor or submit a location-specific mentor request if you’re interested in getting in touch with a SCORE volunteer mentor.
SCORE provides a wealth of online and offline learning materials in addition to putting mentors and individuals in need in touch. On the website the agency, company owners, and those looking to launch a new firm may obtain business planning, budgeting, and other templates. A sizable amount of how-to information is available online from SCORE, including guides for building a website and information on dealing with legal issues if customers don’t pay you.
How to Leverage the SBA
The SBA manages business loans and grants, offers instructional materials on a range of subjects, and collaborates with several other organizations to support the growth of small companies all throughout the country. The SBA provides several courses, online publications, and webinars, similar to SCORE. Although certain regional seminars and conferences held in association with the SBA may have costs, most of these materials are often free.
Volunteers might be of any age; however, they often are retired CEOs. For consideration by their local chapter, retired CEOs who are interested in joining SCORE may submit a formal application online and often need to include a CV.
“No matter how frequently you meet with a SCORE mentor, all of their services are free to you. Your conversation with your SCORE mentor is completely private. A Code of Ethics and Conduct that concerns the safety of your data and business concept is signed by the mentors.
The SBA offers a variety of loans, including:
- General small business loans for start-up businesses in certain industries
- Microloans with a short duration for certain kinds of childcare facilities
- Real estate loans
- Catastrophe loans to support firms in need of assistance during disaster recovery
- Financing for company expansion
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