Published May 23, 2020
Where can you get help when you are just starting up or trying to get your small business off the ground? How do you plan to re-start your business in a post-pandemic marketplace? Who can you call?
Get to know SCORE, the largest volunteer business expert network in the nation. SCORE, established in 1964, is a resource partner of the Small Business Administration (SBA) whose mission is to help aspiring entrepreneurs and existing businesses succeed. For more than 50 years, SCORE volunteers have provided free confidential mentorship and practical business education to more than 11 million clients. Support is possible through the effort of 10,000 volunteers across more than 300 Chapters at the state and county level.
Who We Are
Locally, SCORE began operating in Chester County in 1985 and merged with the Delaware County Chapter five years ago in 2015. Today, the SCORE Chester and Delaware Counties Chapter has 120 volunteers from diverse professional backgrounds with national and global experience. The team includes experts from both for-profit and nonprofit companies, with backgrounds in multiple industries and business models that help serve the two counties well.
Volunteers bring essential skill sets to the organization, including business strategy, finance, legal, marketing, manufacturing, supply chain, HR and more. The membership continues to evolve, with almost 30% women business leaders, and a 50/50 split of retired business professionals and actively employed functional experts. Several Chapter volunteers met SCORE first as clients who were mentored during their start-up and now pay it forward. There are many ways to contribute with SCORE in roles such as mentor, subject matter expert, workshop speaker, event coordinator and marketing communications. And, giving back is so rewarding!
What We Do
More than ever, challenging times call for trusted business guidance and resources. SCORE has a program designed to help small businesses and entrepreneurs be successful. Mentors review strategic options with clients, so they are ready to pivot in all types of economic and market environments. With the 2020 pandemic crisis, all services have shifted to virtual: video, phone and email mentoring, remote office support, and live or recorded webinars.
During business as usual in 2019, SCORE Chester and Delaware Counties served over 800 unique clients with thousands of mentoring session hours. The Chapter conducted at least 100 local seminars, workshops and events attended by more than 1,600 small business professionals shaping their ideas and building their plans.
Educational content is developed and delivered by volunteer knowledge experts. Programs are presented in collaboration with local libraries, universities, chambers of commerce, SBA and the Small Business Development Council (SBDC). The topics are client-focused, full of practical tips, including business planning, marketing, social media, finance, pricing strategy, digital boot camps, women business leadership and more.
SCORE celebrates client success! Each year for the last ten years, the Chapter recognizes small business owners who have reached a significant commercial milestone with a SCORE Achievement Award.
Check out the SCORE Award Winners recognized Spring 2019
What is the End Game?
The economy in America becomes stronger through business and job creation, which is how SCORE Chester and Delaware Counties defines success, every single year! The latest 2019 estimates are impressive across the two counties: approximately 200 new businesses were started and 780 non-owner jobs were created. SCORE market studies indicate those small business clients who receive three or more hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased business growth!
Join SCORE: as a client, as a volunteer, as a community partner.
Every business has a story to tell with lessons we can learn. Let’s hear your story!