SCORE Mentors Help Veterans, National Guard and Reservists Succeed

SCORE Updates Resources for the Military Community at www.score.org

Washington, D.C. ─ SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” salutes men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Business mentors with SCORE are proud to support the success of entrepreneurs in the military community. Many SCORE volunteers are Vietnam, Korea and WWII veterans. Eleven percent of SCORE clients are veterans, with one percent service-disabled.

Many SCORE offices have established programs or outreach specifically for veterans, National Guard and Reservists. San Diego SCORE assists wounded and returning veterans and their spouses with finding a new career path. A workshop helps determine each veteran’s area of interest and expertise, and guide them on next steps. Participants are encouraged to follow up with San Diego SCORE for free business mentoring.

SCORE chapters often work with clients through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). This program helps service members move from their military service to a civilian career, which can include starting a business. Some SCORE offices that participate in the program include:

  • Washington, D.C. SCORE with the Washington Navy Yard
  • Colorado Springs SCORE with the Peterson Air Force Base
  • Waco SCORE with Fort Hood

SCORE works with The Veterans Corporation to offer online advice as part of the Disabled Veterans Entrepreneurship Training Solutions (D-VETS) program. Veterans also can get help online at www.buzgate.org. This is a search portal to find SCORE offices, SBDC and Women's Business Centers by utilizing a free, Web-based mentoring platform.

SCORE recently updated an online section for veterans and military community entrepreneurs at www.score.org/veteran.html. New and updated resources include:

  • SCORE in Action podcast features Retired Army Colonel Laurie McCulloch, an Orange County SCORE volunteer, talking about the value of SCORE mentoring and services.
  • New Feature for Vets highlights Ask SCORE advice by email. Veterans can search for mentors who have previous military experience.
  • Insights for Veteran Entrepreneurs features key articles on: the mindset needed to become an entrepreneur; grant resources for small businesses; and tips on exemplary leadership.
  • Resources for Veteran Entrepreneurs includes a directory of state programs for returning troops, plus a list of more than 30 organizations, groups and Web sites that offer information, training and assistance.
  • Stats and Research on U.S. Veteran Entrepreneurs provides the latest research and facts on veteran entrepreneurship.
  • Loans to Aid Your Success links to important business lending programs: SBA Economic Injury Loans; the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (MREIDL); and the Patriot Express Loan Initiative.
  • How SCORE Helps Veterans highlights assistance and programs offered by local SCORE offices.
  • How SCORE Can Help You highlights SCORE’s free online and face-to-face mentoring, free and low-cost workshops, and free eNewsletters.

Recent SCORE client success stories include:

Jack Licata, a U.S. Air Force veteran in Basking Ridge, N.J., made it his mission to create biodegradable trash bags that disintegrate after three years instead of 300. He needed help figuring out how to take his idea to market. New York City SCORE Counselor Elliott Merberg helped Jack implement a marketing and distribution plan, which led to a spot on QVC. “Everybody needs to think outside the box,” Jack says. “Have someone from outside take a look at what you do. That’s what SCORE does best. They’ll give you insights and ideas that you might never have thought of.”

  • Najat Rozh, who is of Kurdish descent, worked with the U.S. military in Iraq as a cultural advisor and translator. After moving back to the U.S., she started an international trade consultancy and turned to Houston SCORE for advice. Her mentors helped her refine her business plan, focus her target market and get the word out about her new company. “Without SCORE, it would have been harder for me to accomplish what we have now,” Najat says.

Since 1964, SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” has helped more than 8 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling and business workshops. More than 10,500 volunteer business counselors in 389 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses.

For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE on the Web at www.score.org or www.score.org/women.