What is the Service Corps of Retired Executives?

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a non-profit organization with members who provide free consultation services and advice to entrepreneurs. Members of SCORE are current or retired business owners and corporate executives who specialize in a variety of business skills. The organization operates offices throughout the United States and offers its services in-person or online.

Understanding the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

SCORE is a partner of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and was launched in 1964. In addition to offering one-on-one mentoring and online services, SCORE also holds seminars and workshops designed to help small businesses and entrepreneurs navigate the business world.

Activities and Sponsors

SCORE calls itself "the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 250 chapters. As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964."

Through its website, the group will pair you with a small business mentor or let you browse the profiles of available mentors in your area. You can also find a local chapter to attend their meetings, workshops, and events. People can fill out an application to become a mentor on the site.

"SCORE mentoring services are provided at no cost to you, regardless of the number of times you visit a SCORE mentor. The discussion with your SCORE mentor is strictly confidential. Our mentors sign a Code of Ethics and Conduct that addresses the protection of your information and business idea," the group stated.

"Your mentor will employ the SLATE methodology in your mentoring session, which stands for: Stop and Suspend Judgment; Listen and Learn; Assess and Analyze; Test Ideas and Teach with Tools; Expectation Setting and Encouraging the Dream." The group doesn't provide grants, business loans, CPA services, or legal services, but mentors may suggest these and other resources.

SCORE states that it "also offers free and low-cost educational workshops each year, both online and in-person, designed to educate entrepreneurs on every aspect of successful small business ownership. In 2017, clients attended 147,519 online workshop sessions. 250,448 local workshop attendees benefited from SCORE’s in-person educational programming."

Support provided by corporations and businesses allows for the development and implementation of SCORE programs, projects, and resources. The full list of companies that sponsor the group can be found here and include Facebook, eBay, Google, American Express, ADP, FedEx, Intuit, MassMutual, Spectrum Business, Progressive, Trend Micro, and many more.