What is SCORE?

SCORE is a business counseling/mentoring organization. We provide free counseling, resources and advice to people who are in business or want to start a business.  We also provide free or low cost Workshops on Business Topics.

Who gives this advice?

Volunteer counselors are experienced owners or managers of businesses that volunteer their time to help small businesses succeed.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for individual Counseling and Mentoring. Some workshops or seminars have a small fee.

How many free business counseling sessions am I entitled to?

You can come back for as many sessions as you wish. Each session will last for approximately one hour. SCORE counselors are interested in your success and will follow up to see how you are progressing.

What qualifies SCORE volunteers to give business advice?

The key qualification SCORE counselors bring to the table is real-world experience. SCORE volunteers have specific industry and general business expertise. Counselors may be retired business owners, business executives or operations managers. Many volunteers work full-time.

Are business secrets safe with SCORE?

Yes. All SCORE counselors honor the client's right to proprietary and confidential information. That information remains confidential as provided by SCORE's Code of Ethics. Counselors reaffirm their commitment for the association’s Code of Ethics each year.

Can I get a Grant for my business?

Generally not for businesses that are in business to make a profit.

While U.S. government grant agencies and private organizations do provide grant money, they generally direct their assistance toward specific projects, charities, lending institutions and educational groups, rather than to individual small business owners.
Links for Business financing:

  • U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA): www.sba.gov/content/facts-about-government-grants discusses grants and SBA loan programs.
  • THE CATALOG OF FEDERAL ASSISTANCE: This is the online catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance and gives access to all federal programs available to state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, specialized groups and individuals.  Also on this site are aids to guide applicants in the writing of a proposal to apply for assistance.

Please also check with Alachua County Library Downtown.  They have a Data Base that is free to use, but only at the Main Library Downtown.  THE DATABASE is mainly a list of Foundations and their requirements for accepting grant applications and are usually for NON-PROFIT ENTITIES. A for profit business does not qualify except in very rare instances and only for good causes.

When starting a business, should I just schedule a counseling session?

Actually, our Simple Start Series of Workshops is your most productive way to go about evaluating your business idea and identifying the key factors that influence start-up success. With a series of 5 workshops, the First session is FREE and is held bimonthly starting in September.

See Details at Workshops & Events