SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” Continues Increase inLevel of Service to Entrepreneurs in FY03

Washington, D.C.—The SCORE Association "Counselors to America's Small Business" surpassed its record-breaking previous year with a 7 percent increase in outreach to entrepreneurs in fiscal year 2003, which ended September 30, 2003. More than 360,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners turned to SCORE for free and confidential business counseling, training workshops and seminars.

SCORE’s innovative Ask SCORE email counseling service, available at www.score.org, also experienced a record year. Email counselors set a new record with 100,188 online counseling sessions, a 21 percent increase from the previous year. Ask SCORE gives users 24/7 access to a counselor that matches their needs. Users get responses to their questions within 48 hours.

SCORE CEO Ken Yancey says, “SCORE’s face-to-face and online counseling provide entrepreneurs with an experienced, reliable guide to assist them with the tasks involved in managing a business.” Yancey adds, “The local workshops and seminars, and the tools and information available on the SCORE Small Business Web Site, give entrepreneurs detailed insights on a range of business topics.”

In 2003, SCORE's volunteer business counselors donated more than 1.4 million hours of their time to provide guidance to new and existing small businesses. SCORE chapters conducted 6,576 local small business workshops, attended by 137,153 entrepreneurs. SCORE has opened 12 chapters and more than 100 branches in the past two years to further extend it services to local communities. There are now 389 SCORE chapters in all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

Since 1964, the SCORE Association has assisted nearly 6.5 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling and business workshops. More than 10,500 volunteer business counselors serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses. For information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Or visit SCORE on the web at www.score.org.