Q:  I know that SCORE is an organization that provides counseling to small businesses, but why the name SCORE?

A:  We get this question a lot from our many clients, so allow me to clarify. Originally SCORE was an acronym for the “Service Corps of Retired Executives.”

Founded in 1964, SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free and confidential business mentoring services to prospective and established small business owners in the United States. Now more than 13,000 active and retired business professionals volunteer their time and expertise.

SCORE’s core service offering is its small business mentoring program. Mentors work with their clients to address issues and learn best practices related to starting and growing a business, including writing business plans, developing products, conceiving marketing strategies and hiring staff. Clients access their mentors via free, ongoing face-to-face mentoring sessions or through email or video mentoring services.

In addition to mentoring, SCORE also offers free and low-cost educational workshops each year, both online and in-person. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Association. It operates out of 300 chapters across the U.S., with national headquarters in Herndon, Virginia.

The Naples SCORE chapter is one of the most active in the US.  We provide a full range of counseling services as well as putting on workshops covering a wide range of topics. SCORE Naples actively recruits volunteers with a wide range of business experience. We especially welcome applications from women, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and members of other minority groups. 

With over sixty five members, both retired and working, SCORE Naples volunteers are real-world professionals with time-tested knowledge who donate thousands of hours to help small businesses succeed.  Our mentors have significant experience in the ownership, operation and/or management of both small and large businesses as well as non-profits, with expertise in accounting, finance, marketing, management, international, manufacturing, and business plan preparation, just to name a few.

There is no need for anyone to go it alone when organizations like SCORE exist to guide you through the complexities of organizing, operating and growing a small business. Contact us to learn more about our services.  We look forward to serving you.

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Gray Poehler is a volunteer with SCORE Naples. Business counseling on this and other business matters is available, without charge, from the Naples Chapter of SCORE. Call (239) 430-0081 or visit https://naples.score.org/mentors .The SCORE business office is located at 900 Goodlette Road North, in the Fifth Third branch bank building. Office hours are 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.