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SCORE Small Business Mentors Launch Rural Entrepreneurs Resource Hub

SCORE Small Business Mentors Launch Rural Entrepreneurs Resource Hub

Business mentor network SCORE recently announced the launch of SCORE for Rural Entrepreneurs, which is described as a centralized hub that provides rural small business owners with information, tools, and personalized support to help them grow their businesses.

The offering includes free, remote business mentoring focused specifically on the needs of rural entrepreneurs, as well as webinars, inspirational stories from rural entrepreneurs, and other educational content specific to the rural entrepreneur community.

SCORE Vice President of Marketing Candice Stennett commented, “We developed this resource because rural small business owners, like other underserved communities, deserve a seat at the table. This hub provides specialized resources to help rural entrepreneurs thrive. In particular, the remote mentoring program will include mentors with a strong understanding of the needs of rural business owners in order to provide the best support possible. Reaching rural entrepreneurs where these resources are not readily available is essential to their success, and we’re committed to bridging that gap.”

According to an analysis by SCORE, small businesses in rural areas have declined by 33 percent over the past decade, while continuing to face declining populations, funding challenges, and limited access to high-speed internet, a crucial component of modern business. The analysis found that 39 percent of the country’s rural population, about 23 million people, lack access to broadband internet service. For comparison, the number is only four percent of the urban population.

Rural businesses, while smaller, are more likely to be profitable and have longer survival rates, despite growing more slowly than urban-based businesses, according to SCORE.

With SCORE for Rural Entrepreneurs, business owners can sort resources by the stage a business is in, such as “startup,” “in business,” or “exiting,” and by organization type or industry. Topics include:

  1. Business plans/startup assistance
  2. Financing/capital
  3. Operations
  4. Strategy and planning
  5. Accounting and cash flow
  6. Buying or selling a business
  7. Human resources
  8. Product development and manufacturing
  9. Other

Business owners can also search for workshops in their area, find a mentor, and access SCORE’s broader resource library.

“SCORE has been a game changer for my business, providing many tools that supported me in becoming a business owner," said Tara Ritchie, owner of Waggin Tails Pet Resort LLC in Whitesburg, Kentucky, a community of around 2,000 people. "The digital library is my most frequent stop on SCORE’s website and the recorded webinars are easy to listen to, even if I am driving. Without these free services, I would not have gained the insight and guidance needed to be successful.”

SCORE also announced that it is providing support for small businesses impacted by economic challenges with its Small Business Resilience Hub, offering free mentoring, on-demand courses, and other educational resources, webinars, and workshops. Assistance from SCORE is easy to obtain, with more than 320 offices located across the United States.

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