Women Entrepreneurs

SCORE Minneapolis James Handy Interview

Wed, 2014-09-24 18:18

SCORE Minnesota (MN) interview with Jim Handy and Dean Swanson about the CEO Forum and round tables. At the SCORE Minnesota District meeting 2014. Small business counseling services, Minneapolis Chapter.

SCORE celebrates 50 years in Minnesota

Wed, 2014-08-20 18:03

How the nonprofit helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses 

BY EMILY GASPERLIN, Minnesota Business

SCORE Minnesota announces free access to complete webinar library

Tue, 2014-01-07 17:56

On-demand learning library for start-up and small-business owners

Client Success Story: Keep It Simple Syrup®

In celebration of National Business Women’s Week, this month’s client success story is Susan Martinson, President & Owner of Keep It Simple Syrup®.

Wonderstruck Artisan Market and Classes

Stephanie Miller, a Youngstown State University art graduate, always knew she wanted to own her own business. After having a difficult time finding a job in her field, the art graduate took a job as a retail manager, but never stopped creating art. After five years of being a manager, while driving home from work one day, the artist had the idea of creating a business that would function like a craft market. "I always wanted to house my things in a shop, but I couldn't find one," says Stephanie. Stephanie decided to turn her idea into a business.

Stephanie Miller
My Location
Canfield OH
United States
My Successes

Wonderstruck Artisan Market and Classes houses over 11 vendors and plans on doubling the number of vendors within the next few months. Wonderstruck offers after school art programs, "Sip & Paint" classes, house parties and various other painting classes and activities.

How SCORE Helped

Stephanie reached out to Youngstown State University's SCORE chapter to help write a business plan, develop ideas for her new business and advertising. "Wonderstruck Artisan Market and Classes greatly credits the Youngstown SCORE team for helping to establish a business plan which was our key in early business planning. This greatly helped us to set up for success," says Stephanie.

VoMaSmart Finds Success with SCORE

Jeani Burns, creator of VoMaSmart (Volunteer Management Social and Smart) a volunteer software that allows volunteers to manage themselves online needed help getting her business off the ground. Jeani who was unfamiliar with promoting and pricing software, reached out to a friend for advice. Jeani's friend advised her to reach out to SCORE. Soon after, Jeani was matched with SCORE mentor Harold Rappoport.

Jeani Burns
My Location
Baltimore MD
United States
My Successes

VoMaSmart's very first and current client is Wine in the Woods, one of the largest wine festivals on the east coast that attracts between 20,000 to 30,000 visitors annually.

VoMaSmart is currently working on a complete new upgrade with many more reporting features and languages that will accommodate individuals from around the world.


In August, 2014 www.richmond2015 signed on with VoMaSmart. The World Road Cycling Championships (Worlds) is cycling’s pinnacle event, held annually in an international city as chosen by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) through a competitive bidding process similar to the Olympic Games.

The Worlds is a nine-day event, featuring 12 Championship races for Elite Men and Women, Under 23 Men and Junior Men and Women. It is a rare opportunity for the athletes to compete for their country, just as they do during the Olympic Games. Athletes compete in three different disciplines including the traditional Road Race, the Individual Time Trial and the recently introduced Team Time Trial. World Champions are crowned in each discipline.

The Worlds is truly one of the great global sporting events. It is covered by more than 500 media outlets from around the world and is broadcast live to a global audience of more than 300 million people.


What's Great About My Mentor?

"When we met, it was perfect because Harold is a software person and he knew exactly how to advise me. He knew what questions to ask, helped me put a pricing structure together and he helped me learn how to market our product and make sure we don’t hire too many people as we grow. Harold was the leveling force all the way through the process," says Jeani.

How SCORE Helped

SCORE assisted Jeani with creating a business plan, marketing plan, helped formulate a business model and helped analyze pricing and product placement.

"I’ve made so many mistakes in past businesses and I didn’t want to make the same mistakes again. It’s like having a friend who is there to listen to you and advise you. I know if I slip and  fall, they’ll be there to pick me up and give me good advice," says Jeani.

SPDP & Solutions, LLC

Problem: Residential and commercial washing machine installations are subject to water damage problems, which can be very expensive for the architect, contractor and property owner.

Challenge: Knowing that such costly problems often occur, it is important to be proactive in the design and construction stages to alleviate the potential inconvenience, mess and expense that could result from washing machine overflow.

Solution: Offer a simple, easy-to-install product that can virtually eliminate the cost of clean-up and corresponding property damage resulting from washing machine faulty hook-ups, disconnects and overflows. 

Lisa Granse Weglewski
My Location
3394 Windmill Curve
Woodbury MN 55129
United States
My Successes

Projects: SPDP’s main business is with large residential/commercial projects on which multiple washing machines are installed. 

The Future:  Even though competition has increased substantially in the past four years, SPDP & Solutions has experienced a 400% increase in sales during that period and will be introducing several complementary product innovations in the near future. 

What's Great About My Mentor?

“Greg’s help with getting productive reps was important at a very critical time and his background in working with architects and contractors was instrumental in helping me build the business.” - Lisa Granse Weglewski, Owner

How SCORE Helped

Even though Lisa knew what the moisture mitigation business was all about, she felt a need to learn more about working with key industry people. She learned of SCORE through a friend and requested free mentoring. With a background in distribution and working with industrial reps, Greg Ochs was assigned as Lisa’s mentor. He helped Lisa build a more effective, more knowledgeable rep network for the company’s products. He also helped open doors with the people who write the specifications within engineering and architectural firms.    

See the PDF file for this Success Story.

St. Paul Chapter of SCORE Honors Mark Ratner

Thu, 2014-09-18 09:00

The St. Paul Chapter of SCORE honored Mark Ratner with its 2014 Outstanding Mentor of the Year award at the SCORE Minnesota District #508 meeting in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Outstanding Certified Mentor of the Year award is presented to SCORE volunteers who have demonstrated exceptional skill, quality service, and dedication in helping SCORE clients with start-up and small businesses support. This award was presented by Dean Swanson, District Director, at the SCORE Minnesota District meeting on June 17, 2014 at the Minnesota Valley Country Club.

Two St. Paul Companies Receive 2014 SCORE Awards Honorable Mention

Thu, 2014-08-14 09:02

Two small business clients of the St. Paul Chapter of SCORE received a 2014 SCORE Award Honorable Mention August 14th, at the 6th annual SCORE Awards Gala in Washington DC.

See the Press Release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SCORE Contact: Greg Guettler, 651-319-1696
August 14, 2014


          All the recent news stories about large companies having their data breached makes me wonder: What can a small business do to protect information stored in the cloud? 

About the Author

          This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration. 

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