In today’s corporate landscape, Black executives have a unique opportunity to leverage their expertise and make a profound impact beyond their boardrooms. One exceptional avenue to give back and support aspiring entrepreneurs is by volunteering with SCORE.
SCORE is a non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Its mission is to foster vibrant small business communities by providing free mentoring, educational resources and workshops to entrepreneurs across the nation. As a volunteer-driven organization, SCORE relies on the expertise and knowledge of seasoned business professionals, including Black executives, to support aspiring entrepreneurs and contribute to economic growth and diversity.
Black Entrepreneurship is on the Rise
In a recent SCORE survey, Black business owners reported a 23% uptick in annual revenue growth – twice as fast as overall U.S. employer-businesses – and added employees at double the rate of all other U.S. businesses. Despite these gains, Black entrepreneurs face a range of obstacles, from a lack of capital to difficulty accessing government programs. By volunteering with SCORE, black executives bring invaluable insights, experiences, and perspectives to the table, paving the way for small businesses to succeed and build a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Just look at the number of businesses started by people of color, and especially women of color. There is a movement that your talent can be poured back into,” says Marvy Moore, a volunteer with SCORE’s North Metro Atlanta chapter who has helped more than 30 small businesses in the past 18 months. A former telecommunications executive, Marvy applies her extensive business knowledge in sales and operations as a SCORE business mentor. For those considering volunteering, she says: “Whether you are done with your career or you have some capacity in your current role, SCORE is a place where your volunteer efforts can instantly be attached to economic growth in our community.”
Ways to Give Back as a SCORE Volunteer
SCORE offers several ways for Black executives to volunteer their time and expertise:
- Mentorship: Black executives can serve as mentors, offering guidance and sharing their industry-specific knowledge with aspiring entrepreneurs. This one-on-one mentorship can be conducted in person, over the phone or through virtual platforms, ensuring flexibility for both mentors and mentees.
- Workshop Facilitation: SCORE conducts workshops and seminars to educate entrepreneurs on various business topics. Black executives can contribute by leading workshops on subjects where they possess expertise, such as leadership, marketing, finance or strategic planning.
- Subject Matter Expert: Black executives can volunteer to provide specialized knowledge on specific industry sectors, such as technology, healthcare or retail, and assist SCORE in developing resources and content tailored to these sectors. “I tell people: look at your skill set. Everyone has had a mentor at some point to get them where they are. Have you thought about how you can help someone the way someone helped you?” explains SCORE volunteer Al Everett. Principal of ThriveTC.org, a custom home builder, Al has been mentoring small businesses in Traverse City, Mich. for nearly five years. His words of advice for those considering volunteering with SCORE? “You don’t have to be an expert in everything. Because of the wealth of resources we have at SCORE, you are helping guide people to the right resources – or even to another mentor. But think about all that you have learned over the years. You can share that.”
How to Get Involved
For Black executives interested in volunteering with SCORE, visit the SCORE website (www.score.org) to learn more and apply online. SCORE can offer a skills assessment to match your expertise with the needs of entrepreneurs seeking mentoring or workshop facilitation. Volunteers are encouraged to commit a few hours each month. SCORE understands the importance of flexibility and can accommodate your availability. By dedicating their time, expertise and guidance, Black executives can contribute to building thriving small business communities and inspire the next generation of diverse business leaders. Take the first step today and explore how you can get involved with SCORE to make a meaningful difference.