SCORE or the SCORE Association was previously known as the Service Corps of Retired Executives, but is now recognized as SCORE, "Counselors to America's Small Business." It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring services to entrepreneurs in the United States. The organization also presents business workshops and seminars for a fee. Business mentoring services are provided by both active and retired business executives and entrepreneurs who donate their time and expertise as mentors to assist new and established small businesses. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration. It is based in Herndon, Virginia.
According to the association, it is “dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide.” It attempts to realize this goal by “providing resources and expertise to maximize the success of existing and emerging small businesses.”
The SCORE Association was founded in 1964. In the 1970s, when SCORE chapters were formed, the organization expanded its services to offer workshops and seminars on a variety of business topics. In 1996, SCORE began providing small business advice via email to meet the changing demands of the information technology age. To date, SCORE has served more than 8.5 million clients.
- Business mentoring
- Workshops and seminars
- Business tools and resources
SCORE has approximately 370 chapters throughout the United States and its territories and over 11,200 volunteers. Many local chapters also have branch locations throughout the regions they administer.
SCORE began providing online counseling services on June 11, 1997. This feature of the organization, better known as Ask SCORE, garnered more than 1.6 million hits and more than 3,000 online counseling cases within the first 90 days. At its inception the site listed 140 online counselors. Today, there are nearly 1,500.
In a mentoring relationship with a SCORE mentor, that person is not allowed to be paid for any services. This is to protect clients from people who might become a SCORE mentor in order to get business leads. SCORE mentors must resign as a SCORE volunteers before being hired by their protégé.
Workshops are usually PowerPoint presentations.
Developing A Business Plan
SCORE offers workshops on how to create and develop a business plan. There is also a workshop that includes a question and answer outline to help get into more detail when developing a business plan. This workshop's goal is to set the right starting points.
SCORE offers different workshops to help market business. Some of these workshops include ways to find target markets and how to advertise businesses.
Finance & Money
SCORE has many workshops that help keep financial systems in order. They include services such as "Preparing A Balance Sheet" to "Managing Your Cash Flow".
SCORE publishes a variety of print and interactive resources on its online Templates and Tools hub. Additionally, various SCORE chapters publish and broadcast media to inform and educate their target audiences. For example:
- Portland SCORE Newsletter is published monthly, online
- SCORE Chapter 306 blog, was founded by Westchester County SCORE volunteer Lisa Tolliver
- SCORE Radio, produced and hosted by SCORE Chapter 306 in Westchester County, New York, airs on WVOX (1460 AM)
The SCORE Community was launched in May 2009. SCORE’s online community, powered by PartnerUp, enables advisors to work with small business owners to provide mentoring, training, tools and resources.
|1953||Maurice du Pont Lee of Wilmington, Delaware gathered a small group and formed a consulting and advisory service for small businesses.|
|The Small Business Act was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created. The law said the federal government “should aid, counsel, assist and project the interests of small business.” Counseling small business in management practices was written into law.|
|1963||More than 50 independent groups across the country were providing low-cost or no-cost business counseling.|
|1964||SBA Administrator Eugene P. Foley officially launched SCORE as a national volunteer group with 2,000 members on 5 October, uniting independent efforts into a national force.|
|1970||Walter H. Channing of Detroit, Michigan, serves as the first president of SCORE.|
|1975||SCORE was formally incorporated into a nonprofit association.|
|1978||SCORE is honored for small business counseling service to 2 million Americans.|
|1989||SCORE marks 25 years of small business service.|
|1994||SCORE celebrates 30 years of volunteer service.|
|1996||SCORE begins to offer counseling via email.|
|SCORE establishes The Walter Channing Award, the highest award for volunteer service within SCORE. Named after SCORE’s founding President and President Emeritus Walter H. Channing. Channing is the first recipient of the award.|
|1997||SCORE forms a national alliance with Visa Inc., USA to bring financial management and How to Start a Business workbooks to small businesses.|
|SCORE is honored for small business counseling service to 3.5 million Americans.|
|SCORE launches the national SCORE Small Business Web Site.|
|1998||SCORE’s online counseling now represents 12 percent of all SCORE mentoring.|
|1999||SCORE celebrates its 35th Anniversary in the Indian Treaty Room of the Old Executive Office Building, The White House.|
|SCORE forms national alliance with The Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in support of SCORE’s mission.|
|SCORE welcomes 700th member to its online counseling team.|
|2000||On 1 October, SCORE restructures the organization to a governing board of directors and an operating management team of district directors.|
|John H. Titley of Ashland, Oregon bequests $250,000, which establishes The SCORE Foundation. Titley was a past president of SCORE.|
|SCORE holds its first annual SCORE District Directors Conference to train volunteers for senior leadership roles in SCORE.|
|SCORE honors Herbert M. Ausderau with The Walter Channing Award for his volunteer service. Ausderau is the second recipient; he is honored for his long-term board service, audit committee service and prolific face-to-face and online counseling.|
|2001||SCORE counselors donate more than 1 million hours of service to the small business community in 2001.|
|SCORE’s How to Really Start Your Own Business workbook reaches more than 300,000 entrepreneurs.|
|2002||SCORE online counseling volume increases 39 percent to more than 90,000 sessions.|
|SCORE holds its first annual SCORE Chapter Chair Orientation to orient and train volunteers for SCORE chapter management roles.|
|2003||SCORE receives the inaugural USA Freedom Corps Award for exemplary volunteer service, presented by SBA Administrator Hector Barreto.|
|SCORE re-launches the SCORE Small Business Web Site and has record high online counseling volume.|
|The SCORE Small Business Web Site wins the Standards of Excellence Award from the Web Marketing Association.|
|2004||SCORE celebrate its 40th anniversary at a White House event.|
|SCORE receives an Award of Excellence from the American Society of Association Executives for the positive impact SCORE counseling has on American society.|
|2005||SCORE serves its 7 millionth client.|
|SCORE wins Webby Award for Web Site Excellence|
|2006||SCORE serves 7.5 millionth client.|
|SCORE wins Interactive Media Awards Outstanding Achievement|
|2007||SCORE wins American Library Association’s Best of the Best Business Web Sites|
|2008||SCORE serves 8 millionth client.|
|SCORE launches www.score.org/women, a Web site specifically for women entrepreneurs. The organization also launches its first blog, the SCORE Women's Success Blog.|
- SCORE Association
- SCORE Association. "Templates and Tools". Score.org Resources. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- "Portland SCORE Newsletter". Scorepdx.org. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- “SCORE Goes Social.” WomenEntrepreneur. May 20, 2009
- U.S. Small Business Administration OBCI
- Web Marketing Association
- American Society of Association Executives
- The Webby Awards
- Interactive Media Awards
- American Library Association
- SCORE Newsroom
- SCORE Newsroom