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Volunteer to Grow North Dakota's Economy

By: Matthew Varilek, SBA Region VIII Administrator and
Ken Hootnick, SCORE Regional Director

SCORE North Dakota and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Region VIII have launched an initiative to attract more volunteer mentors with business experience to expand small business counseling and training throughout North Dakota.

For fifty years, SCORE volunteers have shared their expertise with up-and-coming small business people across the country. In partnership with the SBA, these volunteers have contributed to a stronger economy and small business successes in industries from retailing to manufacturing, and everything in between. In the past year, according to a Price, Waterhouse, Coopers survey, SCORE assisted clients that started 38,630 new businesses and created more than 67,000 jobs in our national economy – a remarkable achievement for an organization comprised almost entirely of volunteers. 

Becoming a SCORE mentor means joining an active national community of 11,000 volunteers who are committed to helping small business owners succeed. SCORE volunteers come from sectors and professions including small and large businesses, the military, and higher education.

Often our clients ask questions like what kind of business entity should I form? How do I mitigate liability exposure? How can I assess competition? How can I get a loan? What goes into a business plan? Occasionally they just need moral support, or introductions to our network of specific industry experts. We address these needs with unbiased guidance based on our own experience – all on a confidential basis, and at no cost to the recipient. 

Volunteering of any kind provides valuable benefits not only for the recipient, but also for the volunteer. With SCORE, our volunteers take pride in knowing they’re building a stronger economy and creating more opportunity for hard-working families.

Maybe you’re already an experienced volunteer. Or maybe no one has ever asked you to volunteer before. Well today we’re asking: join SCORE and use your experience to build a stronger North Dakota. To mark the 50th anniversary of SCORE, we’ve adopted the ambitious goal of helping one million new businesses to get started, one at a time, by 2017. You can help us get there.

For more information on how to become a SCORE mentor, please visit www.score.org/volunteer or call the North Dakota SBA at 800.544.4674.