What is SCORE?

SCORE is a nonprofit association comprised of 11,000 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, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. Mentoring services are offered free, as a community service. SCORE was formed in 1964 and 10 million Americans have utilized SCORE services. The Southern Maryland Chapter of SCORE was started in 1987 as Chapter 390 and has 40 volunteers.

What services does SCORE offer?

SCORE offers free mentoring and low-cost workshops and seminars. Workshop topics are chosen to help address specific interests in a given community. Workshop topics put on by the Southern Maryland chapter have included: How to Start and Manage Your New Business; Web Site Design; Quick Books; Social Media; and Growing Profitable Sales. (See Workshops)

Can I get help with my business or my business idea and how much does it cost?

SCORE provides face-to-face mentoring to clients who are considering starting a new business or help with problems or challenges that existing business owners are experiencing. All of our mentoring services are FREE.

I have a business idea but I don’t know what to do next. What should I do?

Consider our workshops. SCORE offers low cost workshops ($25) which help clients decide if they want to start a new business and how to go about it. Our main workshop, “How To Start and Manage Your New Business,” covers business planning, banking, financial record keeping, insurance, marketing, and other resources available to those starting a new business.

Is my business eligible to get help from SCORE?

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.

What is meant by mentoring?

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.

What is involved in becoming a SCORE volunteer?

SCORE mentors come from a variety of occupations and backgrounds. One thing they have in common is the desire to give back to their community and pass on their knowledge and experience to others. Many owned small businesses for years while others worked for major companies or government. Their backgrounds and skill areas are widely diversified. They span all generations and minority/ethnic groups. If you want to know more about volunteering with us, please contact the Southern Maryland SCORE office (410) 266-9553 to initiate the interview process.