Boomers 45-54 years old are the largest group of self-employed workers and those 55+ represent one of the fastest growing groups. (AARP and Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, Inc.)

Whether you wish to start a new small business or grow an existing one, or volunteer your extensive management skills to mentor new or struggling business owners, is the site for you. SCORE (Service Corp of Retire Executives)is a non-profit association sponsored by the US Small Business Administration and dedicated to providing free management skills, education, and mentoring to small start up businesses or existing small businesses wishing to expand.

SCORE was founded in the 1970s to provide free one-on-one counseling and mentoring to small business owners, by phone or in person. SCORE Chapters have formed in over 389 cities nationwide. In addition, SCORE resources have expanded to include free business workshops and seminars. In 1996, SCORE went on-line and now offers free on-line workshops, seminars, classes and webinars, as well as a monthly “eNewsletter” and a monthly “EXPERT ANSWERS” newsletter.  Online resources also include instant webinars that guide you through creating a business or marketing plan, or profit and loss statements. SCORE has provided free consulting and mentoring to 8.5 million small businesses including Vermont Teddy Bears, Vera Bradley Designs, and Jelly Belly Candy. Since 1997, SCORE has received 16 prestigious Business Awards.

SCORE counselors are volunteers who are retired or semi-retired from management positions at Fortune 500 Companies (i.e. 3M, GE, Proctor and Gamble), as wells as long time business owners, managers, and business consultants. Volunteering your expertise is as easy as entering your zip code and state to locate a nearby SCORE Chapter and request a Volunteer Application. The local Chapter reviews the application and 3 Chapter members conduct a personal interview to establish that the management experience/skills required for a successful mentor are in place and that the volunteer is a good fit.

To contact SCORE experts or access free classes, seminars, webinars, and special events, go to the user-friendly home page and click the appropriate links. Mentoring and consulting by management experts is an incredibly valuable asset to any business. SCORE offers a win-win solution and one of the “wins” is that no money exchanges hands for these useful business connections.