Founded in 1964, the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a volunteer program sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration. More than 10,500 SCORE volunteers are members of 389 chapters offering assistance in almost 800 locations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
Most SCORE volunteers are retired business owners or managers, though some members still work. Volunteers work in or near their home communities to provide management counseling and training to first-time entrepreneurs and current small business owners. They meet with clients at a SCORE chapter office, an SBA office or at the client's place of business. Every effort is made to match a client's needs with a counselor who is experienced in a comparable line of business. All individual and team SCORE counseling is free; there may be a nominal fee for training workshops and seminars.
Best of all, SCORE members volunteer because they have enjoyed successful careers in business and want to give something back to their communities. They selflessly give of their time and expertise so that more small businesses will find success. Through in-depth counseling and training, SCORE volunteers help prospective and established small business owners and managers identify problems, determine the causes and find solutions.
SCORE chapters offer low-cost pre-business workshops that address topics like assessing entrepreneurial potential, developing start-up checklist, selecting a legal entity, creating a business plan and securing funding. SCORE counselors also help successful firms review their distribution channels, survey expansion, modify products and meet other business challenges. Other workshops offer experienced business owners information on a myriad of subjects, including starting a home-based business, purchasing a franchise, defining a marketing and advertising strategy, implementing a waste-reduction plan, setting merchandise prices and beginning an export venture.
Any small business can obtain help from SCORE. Whether you are considering starting your own business, have a business that is experiencing problems, are ready to expand, or need some other type of advice, SCORE can help. The approach is confidential and personal. You do not need to be applying for or to have an SBA loan to participate in the program. In fact, an idea is all that is necessary for consultation and counseling.
For information or assistance, contact the SCORE office nearest you:
Gulfcoast SCORE Chapter
Mississippi SCORE District Director & Chapter Chair
Hancock Bank Plaza
2510 14th Street, Suite 103
Gulfport, Mississippi 39501
Telephone: (228) 863-0054
Web Site: scoregulfport.org
Delta State University Small Business
DSU Box 3235
Cleveland, MS 38733-002
Ph.: (662) 846-4236
Randy Russ, Ph.D
1500 Peachtree St./P.O. Box 610
Jackson, MS 39202-1789
Ph.: (601) 965-7074
P.O. Box 40134
Mobile, AL 36640
If you would like additional information on the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) or receive free email counseling, please visit the National SCORE web site at: