SCORE provides expert mentoring and education to thousands of startup and existing businesses, just like yours. Our goal is for you to receive the help you need to be successful in your business.

Below you will find a few points that we believe may be helpful as you start your small business journey with SCORE.

What is SCORE?

SCORE, America’s premier source of free, confidential small business advice, was founded in 1964 as a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Because SCORE receives government funding, and thanks to our more than 10,000 dedicated volunteers, we are able to deliver most of our offerings at no cost.

Our network of 10,000+ expert volunteers offers business mentoring and workshops at 300 SCORE offices across the country. SCORE also provides virtual mentoring services via phone, email and video, plus webinars and other online resources for budding entrepreneurs and established business owners.

How does your small business mentoring service work? How can I connect with a mentor?

SCORE provides free, confidential business advice through our volunteer network of 10,000+ business experts. You can meet with a mentor online or face-to-face in a chapter near you.

To request a mentor, visit www.score.org/find-mentor and search for a mentor by keyword, industry, location or expertise. If you prefer, we can also make a match for you based on your business question.

What happens after I submit my mentoring request?

SCORE will attempt to contact you at least three times during the two weeks after you have submitted your mentoring request. If you have not connected with a mentor at the end of this time, please contact mentoring@score.org.

After you are assigned a mentor, you can meet with your mentor regularly for ongoing help starting or growing your business, or you can make appointments whenever a specific issue or question arises.

SCORE’s mentoring services are provided at no cost to you, regardless of the number of times you visit a SCORE mentor (and regardless of how many mentors you work with).

The discussion with your SCORE mentor is strictly confidential. Our mentors sign a Code of Ethics and Conduct that ensures the protection of your information and business idea.

 If you did not feel that you received valuable advice or assistance during a mentoring session, please discuss this with your mentor. Our #1 goal is to provide you with a positive experience and help you with your business needs. 

SCORE will work to assign you to the perfect mentor, based on your need, industry and location. Your assigned mentor can then connect you with other mentors as needed to provide specialized advice and extra support.

If your initial mentor is not a good “fit” for you, we can pair you with another one of our thousands of business mentors across the country. In this case, you may contact your local SCORE office or email mentoring@score.org to request a new mentor.

How can I maximize my experience with SCORE?

We encourage clients to:

You benefit most from SCORE by meeting with a mentor for more than a one-hour appointment. Before the conclusion of your initial session, your mentor (or someone from the local SCORE office) will schedule another appointment for you or assist you in finding the correct resource. For best results, we recommend that our clients meet with their mentors regularly.

What do you expect from me?

While we prefer for clients to follow through with any scheduled appointments, we understand that things may occasionally come up that will require you to cancel an appointment. If you have to cancel an appointment, we ask that you notify your local chapter as soon as possible.

Both you and your mentor will work together to identify key areas to focus on to build your business success. Your mentor will act as an accountability partner, providing you with the guidance and resources you need to take the next steps toward advancing your business.

After your first and fourth meetings with your mentor, you will receive an electronic survey from SCORE office about your experience. The survey will take you about one minute to complete. We ask for your feedback in order to continue to improve our services. Our Client Satisfaction Survey results are reviewed continuously at all levels in SCORE.

How do I become a volunteer?

SCORE offers four different volunteer opportunities for working and retired professionals:

  • Mentor: Offer confidential business mentoring services, either in person or online
  • Subject matter expert: Collaborate with experienced mentors to offer advice in your specific area of expertise
  • Workshop presenter: Lead local workshops, seminars and events to help entrepreneurs meet their goals and achieve success
  • Administrative role: Assist your local chapter with marketing, finance, scheduling and other key administrative tasks

If you’re interested in volunteering with SCORE, visit www.score.org/volunteer and complete an application. Your application will be sent to the local SCORE leader for review. The SCORE leader will contact you for an interview and, if volunteering seems like a good fit for you and SCORE, you’ll be asked to complete our training and onboarding process. Contact volunteer.services@score.org for more information.

What resources are available on SCORE.org?

SCORE created this website as a leading online resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Our site offers a comprehensive small business library with “how-to” eguides, downloadable templates, checklists, articles, videos, infographics and blogs. Our website also hosts online workshops, such as our recorded webinars and interactive courses on demand.

Are your workshops free?

All of our online workshops (available at www.score.org/take-workshop) are free of charge. You can register for a live webinar presented by a business expert, view a recorded webinar or take an interactive course on demand.

We also offer instructor-led workshops, roundtables and events in your community. These are available for free or for a nominal fee. All funds received from the local workshops support the chapter and development of new workshops, handouts, materials and other business resources.

Does SCORE offer business grants or loans? What about CPA services and legal services?

SCORE does not provide grants, business loans, CPA services or legal services, but your mentor may be able to suggest outside resources to assist you in those areas.

I am a resident of a country other than the U.S. Can I still work with a SCORE mentor?

Because we receive funding from the U.S. government, we can only offer mentoring to people living in America. However, we wish you the best of luck with your business!

If you have additional questions, email help@score.org.