What is SCORE?

SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit, national association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs. SCORE is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia and Washington, DC. It has 389 chapters throughout the United States and its territories , with 10,500 volunteers nationwide. SCORE was founded in 1964; is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and is affiliated with leading companies and organizations in the United States. Both working and retired business executives and business owners donate time and expertise as business counselors.

What can you tell me about the Raleigh Chapter?

The Raleigh Chapter's main office is in Suite 306 of the Post Office Building at 300 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, NC 27602 with satellite offices in Cary, Morrisville, Wake Forest and North Raleigh providing face-to-face, free and confidential counseling services. These offices are staffed by volunteers who are seasoned executives with a variety of managerial and functional skills that include finance, accounting, banking, law, insurance, franchising, marketing and promotion.

What kind of counseling does SCORE provide?

SCORE's experienced business executives provide advice and guidance that involve starting or staying in business. This may include such topics as organization, licensing, financing, cash flow management, legal structure, advertising and promotion, and preparing the business plan.

Are business secrets safe with SCORE?

Yes. All SCORE business counselors honor the client's right to proprietary and confidential information. Client information remains confidential. All SCORE counselors abide by the Association's Code of Ethics which includes protecting the confidences between client and counselor. Each year counselors reaffirm their commitment to the Code of Ethics.

How can I contact SCORE for assistance?

You can contact Raleigh SCORE by phone, e-mail, or letter for a free, confidential meeting with our counselors at one of our offices in downtown Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, or North Raleigh: Telephone (919) 869-4151.  E-mail: contact.raleigh@scorevolunteer.org. Main office: Suite 306, 300 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, NC 27602.

What is meant by mentoring?

All clients, whether involved in a start-up or existing business, may benefit from counseling on a one time or repeat basis. Mentoring refers to a situation where an existing business decides it needs special help on one or more aspects of its daily operations. Under these circumstances, a SCORE counselor will be assigned to determine the precise nature of the assistance required; then one or more counselors with the expertise needed will be called in to work with the client until the problem is resolved.

What is business mentoring online?

The National organization offers this online service. A client can go to the National site- www.score.org, scroll down to "About Score" and click on "SCORE Business Mentoring." The instructions are simple: ask a question or enter key words to find a mentor; pick a mentor and send a message through the online form; you get a personal message from your mentor within 48 hours.  Your online mentor will work with you to answer your business questions.

Does Raleigh SCORE offer other services?

Yes. Raleigh SCORE offers low-cost workshops and seminars. Workshop fees generally range from $30 to $45 depending on the program. Workshops include: How to Start and Stay in Business, Preparing a Winning Business Plan and Financing Options for Small Business.

Does SCORE provide pertinent reference material?

Yes. Both from Raleigh volunteers during counseling sessions and when a client logs onto the national web site. A Raleigh counselor can direct a client to reference material on most all business subjects that are available from SBA publications on line and from many sources of information available in local government offices and libraries. At the national site (www.score.org) click on "business tools" for a wide assortment of business publications on line.

What does it take to become a SCORE Volunteer?

SCORE counselors come from a variety of occupations and backgrounds. Many owned small businesses for years; others worked for major firms such as 3M, General Electric and Procter & Gamble. Their backgrounds and skill areas are widely diversified. They span all generations and minority/ethnic groups. If you feel you have the qualifications, please contact the Raleigh office, 919-856-4739 to initiate the interview process.