What is SCORE?

SCORE is a mentoring organization. We provide free counseling, resources and advice to people who are in business or want to start a business.

Who gives this advice?

Southwest Florida SCORE 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. 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 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.

How can I sign up for counseling services?

Click here or go to MENTORING Tab above to link to an online form.

How can I find out about joining SCORE?

Click here for detailed information about joining Pinellas County SCORE Chapter 115, or call our offices for more information at (727) 437-0990.

Can I sign up for seminars and workshops on-line?

Yes, please visit the Local and Online Workshop tabs above for details.  

Does the SCORE provide business loans?

No. However the SBA has a number of loan guarantee programs to assist business start-ups and existing businesses. The loans are obtained through preferred and other lenders approved by the SBA. It is recommended you visit the SBA website for more information on specific loan programs, at www.sba.gov.

Do I need a business plan to obtain financing?

To obtain financing for a start up business, all lenders will require a complete business plan which describes in some detail your business idea, potential, experience, management, marketing plans and financial outlook. Existing business's may be permitted to complete the application and rely on the financial history of their business. You should always check with several banks, angel investors and crowd sourcing sites about their specific requirements. SCORE Mentors are available to help you get started and work through the plan to prepare for these discussions.