The SCORE Foundation, a philanthropic branch of SCORE, is America’s premier source of free confidential small business advice. In the Charlotte area during 2018, SCORE Charlotte assisted 257 businesses through their start-up, helped create 370 non-owner jobs, and provided 3,272 mentoring sessions including workshops. Nationwide, 20,500 clients responded and participated in an economic survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers to verify SCORE’s impact upon small businesses.
SCORE Charlotte was founded in 1965 as the 47th Chapter of SCORE National, which has its headquarters located in Herndon, Virginia. Nationwide, there are over 300 SCORE Chapters, with over 10,000 Certified SCORE mentors serving more than 1,500 communities who provide advice to small business owners. It’s the largest network of volunteer expert business mentors in the country. SCORE has formed a resource partnership with the US Small Business Administration and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
SCORE Charlotte offers services to clients in the Greater Charlotte Region which includes Mecklenburg, Union, Cabarrus, Gaston, and Iredell counties.
SCORE Charlotte currently has 87 volunteer mentors who are all certified, are actively retired or semi-retired, are still working or currently own a business or are former business owners. These volunteers have a diverse background as successful business executives from various industries, and all bring a unique business experience and knowledge gained during their careers.
Each mentor must follow a Code of Ethics and attest annually to assure client information remains fully confidential. They are all mentors, not consultants! Clients have to do all the work, develop business plans, complete SBA loan applications, and much more.
The clients are mentored in one-on-one sessions at the SCORE Charlotte office, located within the District Office of the Small Business Administration at 6302 Fairview Road, Suite 300 in the Southpark area.
Each week, the Southpark location provides an average of over 1,000 one hour first-time mentoring meetings a year, or an average of about 80 per month. Typically, the SCORE offices in the region offer four one-hour sessions daily Monday through Friday with the exception of national or government holiday.
There are usually additional follow-up sessions for many start-ups, which in some instances continue after the business is operating to review how the business is progressing. These relationships often continue for many years during the infancy and growing stages of a business enterprise. SCORE’s cost to help create one business in 2018 was $340, and to help create one job was $81. Additional figures are available upon request.
SCORE offers several additional resources which include workshops, webinars, classes that provide sound business basics and practices, attendance or participation at selected trade shows, including participation geared toward business owners who are more advanced in their ownership journey.
A popular workshop is “Simple Steps for Starting Your Business.” The first three-hour introduction session is free, to attend the other four three-hour sessions, there is a nominal fee charged.
Session 1 – Overview of Business Start-Ups.
Session 2- Business Concepts
Session 3 – Marketing Plan
Session 4 – Financial Projections
Session 5 – Funding Sources and Next Steps
Registration can be accessed online by visiting their website.
SCORE’s client satisfaction rate is over 86%. While 67% of all clients are in full agreement SCORE played an important role in their success.
For more information on SCORE Charlotte Services or to volunteer, visit online at www.Charlotte.Score.org, e-mail Charlottescore47@clscore.org, or call 704-344-6576.