SCORE, America’s premier source of free and confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs and small business, is a nonprofit resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). We have over 300 SCORE offices across the country offering free business mentoring and low cost workshops.
For over 50 years, SCORE’s thousands of working and retired business professionals have volunteered to support the success of small business nationwide.
Every year SCORE volunteers help thousands of entrepreneurs start small businesses and achieve new levels of success in their existing businesses. SCORE is a way to give back to your community, connect with fellow business owners, and pass on your knowledge to entrepreneurs in our community.
SCORE volunteers provide confidential business mentoring services, both in person and online. We lead seminars and partner with other organizations in our community who are helping drive business growth.
In the Reno/Sparks/Carson City there are about 40 mentors providing these services. The need has increased significantly over the last two years as our economy has improved. Last year the local chapter, headed by Chapter Chair Irene DeHuff, increased services significantly. They saw a 34 percent increase in total sessions provided to clients and increased the number of attendees to their workshops by 16.6 percent.
As a SCORE volunteer you can:
Share your success and expertise through mentoring
Provide online or telephone mentoring directly from your home or office
Serve in a leadership or another capacity with SCORE, such as IT, social media, administration, etc.
Have flexibility with your volunteering time.
How does the mentoring service work?
You receive clients through a variety of sources. You make the contact and set up a time to meet, if you are doing face-to-face mentoring. We attempt to contact clients three times via email or phone or both.
SCORE mentoring services are provided at no cost to the client, regardless of the number of times you meet. The discussion is strictly confidential. We meet our clients in various locations in the area, including coffee shops, The CUBE at Midtown, the SBA office, and other public places.
Our goal is to provide clients with the tools they need to make the best decisions. We do not do the work for them. You receive SCORE training in the basic methodology used when mentoring, but will design your own style based on your professional experience. Each session results in action steps. Our number 1 goal is to provide you with a positive experience and help you with your business needs.
How do I become a mentor?
If interested in becoming one of our volunteer business mentors, visit www.score.org/volunteer and complete an application. Your application will be sent to our local leadership for review. You will be contacted for an interview and if volunteering seems like a good fit for you and SCORE, you will be asked to complete our training and onboarding process. This process includes a three-month probationary period where you’ll complete three online training modules, review and agree to our standard operating manual and code of ethics, shadow experienced mentors, and attend monthly meetings.
What if I’m not interested in being a mentor? Are there other ways I can help?
Absolutely. We currently have several areas of need as we grow and expand. We need members who can assist with our Web site, expand our marketing through additional social media, perform administrative services, and assist with workshops.
Becoming a SCORE member can be one of the most personally rewarding things you will ever do.
“It’s cool to look back at your client list and see who has expanded, added employees, and become successful at following their dream,” DeHuff stated.
For free business mentoring, call our office at 775-784-4436 or go online to www.score-reno.org. To submit an application for volunteering, go to www.score.org/volunteer and complete the necessary information.