SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon is one of roughly 300 nationwide chapters of the organization that partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide free business mentoring for entrepreneurs and small businesses. SCORE also offers business startup workshops and webinars, some of which have a small fee.
The nonprofit has about 80 volunteer mentors who last year conducted 3,696 mentoring sessions with clients and held 70 local events and webinars attended by 1,650 business owners. The local chapter supplements its funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration with local fundraising from events such as the upcoming annual Small Business Awards Luncheon.
SCORE mentors are retired or working business owners, executives and managers who offer their expertise to small businesses and entrepreneurs. SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon has a tradition of being an especially robust chapter, having been named chapter of the year in 2018, after also receiving the award in 2013.
Dick Hendricks, a retired Armstrong World Industries operations manager who has been a SCORE volunteer since 2010, says other Armstrong retirees have helped form a core group of volunteers.
“We learned some hard lessons,” Hendricks said. “If we can share and help (others) avoid some of them, that is what we want to do. That is what motivates us: to try to help people be successful faster than what they otherwise might be.”
Lou Davenport, another retired Armstrong executive and SCORE volunteer, said working with small business owners and his fellow mentors has kept him in touch with what he liked most about his career.
“When I retired from Armstrong, I desperately thought I would miss the work. But it wasn’t the work I missed, it was the caliber of people — and I found them again in SCORE,” he said.
SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon has offices in Lancaster at 313 Liberty Place. For more information, including how to volunteer, visit www.lancaster.score.org.