Fostering Vibrant Small Business Communities Through Mentoring and Education

— November 27, 2017

Throughout my professional life I have learned that by asking questions(especially the right ones) one can learn a lot. This article is another in a series of interviews I am doing, focusing on accomplished individuals with valuable perspectives.


I hope you find it worthwhile and please share!


Over her career, Andrea Tannenbaum has built and managed several small businesses. She also spent over a decade within the larger corporate world, learning about management, processes and team building. Her strengths are in discovery of opportunities, business strategy and process organization.


Andrea, currently serves as Chair of the Greater Hartford SCORE chapter, and previously participated on several District SCORE projects within Connecticut and on several project teams at the National SCORE level.


Andrea, What is Score?


We are a resource partner of the SBA (Small Business Administration), a non-profit volunteer organization that offers free and confidential mentoring to small businesses. We additionally offer free (or very low cost) educational workshops and webinars. There are 300 or so chapters across the US, and over 10,000 volunteers. We love to talk business!


Who can benefit from being a Score client?


Score advises clients at all points in the small business life cycle:


• 32% were considering starting a new business


• 28% were in the process of starting a new business


• 37% were already in business


• 2% were considering exiting their business


Demographically:


• 58% women


• 35% minorities


• 11% veterans


What free services and resources does Score provide?


• confidential mentoring to small businesses


• small business workshops


• online small business webinars


• articles and other small business resources


What does SCORE stand for? And what type of volunteers belong?


Originally SCORE was “Service Core of Retired Executives”, since that is what we were. Today, we’re not just corporate executives, but also entrepreneurs like me. We have expertise in many industries. But most of all, we understand what it takes for a small business to thrive and grow. We’re not all retired: we have many professionals, consultants and other types of volunteers under 50 who have full responsibilities outside of SCORE. They teach workshops, act as subject matter experts and help with SCORE’s day to day business needs.


How many volunteers does your chapter have?


Approximately 50


How many clients do you service?


Last fiscal year (October ’16 through September 17) Greater Hartford SCORE served over 600 unique clients.


When I recently attended your chapter meeting, I heard several interesting client success stories. Can you share some of them here?



A client success is truly defined by the client, but here are some examples:


• We helped a young singer define her passion into a business plan, and helped her network with mentors in the entertainment industry across the US. She received guidance regarding contracts, management of her business and how to approach industry luminaries.


• A client approached us about her ecommerce business. We mentored her to define her market more clearly so that she could then define a clear marketing path for the business.


• A veteran approached us for help with making an appeal for a loan. We helped him articulate his plan and define cost projections so that the lending partner would feel confident about a loan to his fledgling business.


What is the process for someone to get involved with Score as a client?



Greater Hartford SCORE workshops can be found here: https://greaterhartford.score.org/take-workshop-0


How did you get involved with Score?


I have worked with clients, professionals and suppliers to learn about best practices in business. After I sold my ecommerce business 4 years ago, SCORE was the perfect challenge for me. I have real passion for SCORE and its mission ‘to foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education’.


For you personally, what has been the best aspect of being a Score volunteer.


I have met hundreds of wonderful people, both clients and mentors. Being a lifelong learner, I have enjoyed learning a lot of new things about business. I love talking business and having a positive impact on entrepreneurs.


If someone is interested is being a Score mentor what is the process and what skills are you looking for?


We always looking for small business expertise of all kinds, whether you want to mentor clients or support the chapter’s day to day operation. Anyone interested in volunteering with SCORE can submit an application (https://core.score.org/volunteer-registration). Someone will get back to you!


Andrea, thanks for the time!


This article first appeared here.

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Author: Mike Macioci


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