QUESTION: I started my business a year ago and feel I am on the right track. However, I do not have all the right answers and need someone to critique my business model. What do you suggest?

ANSWER: You’re in luck. The Richmond-area chapter of SCORE, in partnership with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, will hold a contest for entrepreneurs in the region.

SCORE, the nonprofit volunteer mentoring organization, is calling on startups or those companies that have been in business for less than two years to enter the SCORECard Business Model Canvas Competition. Nonprofits also are encouraged to enter.

Entrants will be judged on their use of a strategic management tool, the Business Model Canvas, which uses a template that includes nine building blocks.

“A business model is any idea that can be converted into a business that generates revenue,” said Art Mattox, a volunteer SCORE mentor who retired five years ago from International Paper Co. “If you want to start a food truck or if you have an online business selling jewelry, that’s a business model.”

A panel of nine judges from the business and academic worlds will select six entrants in late January for the semifinal round. Presentations will be evaluated to determine the best business model that can lead to success, increased revenue and profit growth.

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