Entrepreneurs SCORE Big with Nonprofit’s Services

Posted by Daniel Kobialka

SCORE counselor James Risko discusses the elements of a business plan with a potential business owner. (Photo Credit: Normand Deragon)

A nonprofit organization has proven you don’t have to be a player to score.

SCORE, is dedicated to providing education and assistance to entrepreneurs and startups,  connects business owners to information and resources to help them stand out in tough economic times.

“Our basic service is face-to-face counseling with entrepreneurs,” Southeastern Massachusetts SCORE Chairperson Frank Sebastian said.

The national organization features local branches providing complimentary assistance to help entrepreneurs score profits in today’s economy. It has been doing this for 37 years.

Sebastian says the chapter features 35 counselors who provide personalized services to southeastern Massachusetts. Professionally-trained counselors offer their services not only to new businesses, but existing companies as well.

SCORE offers free expert business counseling.

“We’re expanding our services to the community of southeastern Massachusetts,” Sebastian said, noting the chapter has seen a 25 percent increase in clients in the past year as economic challenges have increased for many throughout the country.

Sebastian emphasized SCORE offers people access to resources that may otherwise be difficult to find.

The nonprofit employs more than 13,000 volunteers nationally at its 364 branches, each with hands-on experience in a variety of different fields.

The nonprofit has workshops and events to teach businesses the tools and skills necessary to be successful, including Business Basics, How to Start Your Own Business and Marketing and Sales.

“Most people have a real need for marketing,” SCORE Boston Chairperson Dan Perkins said.

Perkins acknowledged SCORE can match volunteers with clients based on their skills and needs.


“[SCORE volunteers] are experienced business people,” Normand Deragon, Public Administration Officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Rhode Island District Office. “They actually are in business now or have been in business for many years, so they know how a business runs.”

The SBA provides information on small business loans, grants and other financial assistance. Deragon said the SBA collaborates with SCORE to help entrepreneurs succeed.

SCORE clients can receive advice from volunteers with more than 270,000 years of experience in 62 industries.

“I think they’re remarkable to small businesses,” Rockland, Mass.-business owner Donna Gaeta said. “There’s noting like them.’

Gaeta founded Gaeta Website Professionals, a marketing group that helps companies build websites, three-and-a-half years ago. Gaeta said she has seen a noticeable increase in business since she began utilizing SCORE’s services last year.

“If you don’t know what direction to go in, they will guide you,” Gaeta said, noting she now receives between 700 and 1,000 website hits daily thanks to the assistance she received from SCORE.

Online and in-person events give entrepreneurs and business owners the training necessary to become major players in their respective fields.

“I think every small person person should utilize them,” Gaeta said.

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Posted by Daniel Kobialka on Aug 22 2011. Filed under Business, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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