To bridge the disparity in resource allocation and foster a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, SCORE, a nonprofit organization that mentors small businesses in America, is encouraging Black executives to volunteer their time and expertise this National Black Business Month.
A recent survey by SCORE revealed a worrisome trend: Black business owners were more likely to seek but less successful in obtaining outside funding than their white counterparts. This gap in resource allocation poses a significant barrier to success for Black-owned businesses, potentially hampering their growth and contribution to the economy.
As a solution, Black executives, with their wealth of knowledge, insights, and perspectives, can serve as vital allies. By offering mentorship, they can aid small business owners and entrepreneurs, particularly those from underrepresented communities, in navigating the often complex and challenging business landscape.
Olu Abney, a SCORE client and co-owner of My College Tours, has experienced the transformative impact of such mentorship firsthand. “We don’t look to just have clients, we look to build long-lasting relationships,” said Abney. “SCORE was essential in helping us realize this.”
SCORE mentors, including Black executives, are invaluable for small businesses seeking to thrive in a competitive market. Marvy Moore, a SCORE North Metro Atlanta mentor, highlighted the potential of these relationships. “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,” Moore stated. “Whatever you bring to the table, added with the resources from SCORE, you can be a tremendous resource to small businesses.”
For Black executives interested in contributing, SCORE provides various avenues to volunteer:
- Mentorship: Black executives can serve as mentors, sharing their industry-specific knowledge with aspiring entrepreneurs. The flexibility of these mentorship opportunities allows for interactions to occur in person, over the phone, or via virtual platforms.
- Workshop Facilitation: SCORE conducts workshops and seminars on various business topics. Black executives can use their expertise to lead workshops in leadership, marketing, finance, or strategic planning.
- Subject Matter Expertise: Black executives can volunteer to provide specialized knowledge in specific industry sectors like technology, healthcare, or retail. This contributes to SCORE’s development of resources and content tailored to these sectors.
Interested Black executives can visit www.score.org/volunteer to apply online and embark on this rewarding journey. SCORE offers a skills assessment to match volunteers’ expertise with the needs of entrepreneurs seeking mentoring or workshop facilitation. Understanding the varied time commitments of professionals, SCORE ensures flexibility and can accommodate various levels of availability.
Small Business Deals
The call to Black executives to mentor through SCORE could prove a significant step in building a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. The potential impact of their expertise and guidance might just be the lifeline these small businesses need to navigate their growth and establish long-lasting success.
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