Members offer free counseling and mentoring to those who wish to start or build existing businesses in the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties in Maryland, and in Northern Virginia. We operate with a main office in DC and 12 branch offices in the Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs.
The Washington, DC Chapter of SCORE offers individual free counseling, low-cost workshops, and free team visits to business locations to conduct business reviews. SCORE teams provide counseling designed to assist your business to:
- Increase the value of a business by growing sales, earnings, and cash flow
- Identify and solve operating problems
- Recognize and capitalize on new business opportunities
- Make needed operational changes and add new systems
- Develop business plans
- Find sources and qualify for needed financing
- Understand the Federal procurement process
We work closely with other organizations in the Washington DC area to bring information and our services to the small business community. We speak at many events and trade shows throughout the year.
JOIN US AT SCORE
Are you retired or semi-retired from business, the military, the government or a profession, have substantial experience in business or a business-related field and enjoy working with people? Are you interested in using your experience and skills to help others succeed with their small business dreams?
SCORE Chapter No. 1, the Washington DC chapter, actively recruits volunteers with a wide range of business experience. We especially welcome applications from women, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and members of other minority groups.
The SCORE Mentor position is best suited for individuals with substantial business or business-related experience who have reached a stage in their careers when they feel it appropriate to "give back" to the small business community their time, knowledge and experiences so entrepreneurs and small business owners can either start or grow their businesses.
The time commitment required to volunteer with SCORE depends on the type of position or role you are interested and qualified to perform. The following information will give you a better understanding of what is to be expected:
- SCORE Mentor - We expect all mentors to devote approximately one day a week to mentoring plus attend a monthly Chapter meeting. All mentors are encouraged to serve at some point on our Executive Committee, and they are also encouraged to consider serving as a Chapter officer such as Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer or Secretary. Orientation for these roles is more extensive and outlined below.
- Subject Matter Expert (Co-counselor) – The time required for these roles depends on the demand for that expertise and the availability of the volunteer. Typically, our Co-counselors are active in their professions and limited in the amount of time they can devote to SCORE. Orientation for these roles includes an online training course, participating in 4 days of mentoring sessions, and presenting to the Chapter members.
- Back Office Support – The amount of time required varies with the work being performed. Typically, this should take only a few hours each week. Examples of these tasks are keeping our Chapter’s Web Site up to date, processing changes to our mailing lists, marketing support (Facebook, Twitter, Constant Contact newsletters, etc.). Orientation for these roles is limited (e.g. observe a mentoring session).
- Workshop Presenter – Most workshops are typically offered 4 times a year and are 3 hours in duration. They are held at our main office in DC. There are some workshops offered monthly and these are full day workshops with multiple presenters. We also have occasional workshops at various locations in the metro area. Those workshops are dependent on the calendars of our resource partners. Orientation for these roles is limited (e.g. observe a mentoring session, presenting to the Chapter members, etc.).
All new candidates to become a SCORE Mentor undergo a three-month orientation program, one day a week in our main office in DC. During this time they must also attend at least two of our "core" workshops, i.e. “How to Start a Business" and "Writing a Winning Business Plan." At the end of the orientation program, the prospective mentor and the Chapter decide if there is a good fit, and assuming there is, a determination is made about which day of the week and at which location the mentor will operate. Additionally, mentors are expected to participate on a committee or support other Chapter activities.
All volunteers are expected to be computer literate, and while familiarity with the use of the social media techniques is not mandatory, it is a big plus.
Since we place significant emphasis on volunteer training/orientation, we do not always have sufficient resources to begin the training/orientation program immediately. Nevertheless, taking in and orienting/training new volunteers is a priority in our Chapter.
Finally, volunteering at SCORE is not a position/opportunity for an individual to solicit business for his or her own business. In fact, we have a strict ethics and conduct code that prohibits counselors from personally benefiting from counseling or conducting workshops. We are all volunteers and receive no compensation or reimbursement for our time or our travel.
If you would like to join this outstanding volunteer organization please contact our Membership Coordinator, Bruce Gitlin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an application or follow the instructions online at https://washingtondc.score.org/volunteer