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SCORE and Plus 50 Initiative working together

Three local SCORE chapters and three Plus 50 Initiative grantee colleges have teamed up to develop model approaches for effectively working together. The lessons learned and practical tips from their experiences will be shared with other SCORE chapters and community colleges.

SCORE, "Counselors to America's Small Business", is dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth, and success of small business nationwide.

The match is proving to be of benefit to both groups. Several of the grantee colleges offer entrepreneurial courses and the linkage with the expertise of the SCORE volunteers is a great asset. The Plus 50 Initiative's outreach to engage the 50+ population in civic and service activities is also a potential source of retired executives and business owners to serve as business counselors for SCORE.

Washington

Clark College in Vancouver, WA offers SCORE officials co-location of office space in their Corporate and Continuing Education building. This arrangement provides counseling for plus 50 community members interested in second careers. SCORE provides instructors for Small Business development courses. Clark’s students age 50 and above make up 65% of the enrollment in these courses. SCORE also teaches a Small Business success series at a local credit union.

In March 2009 Tracy Reilly-Kelly gave a presentation to the Vancouver, WA SCORE Annual meeting about the Plus 50 program. Clark College has also provided assistance and training in classroom technology for SCORE instructors. Clark’s Plus 50 Initiative Director had also provided marketing expertise to a SCORE member who is promoting his technical writing and editing business.

Pennsylvania

Luzerne County Community College, PA has enjoyed fruitful partnership with their local SCORE chapter.  SCORE is a useful resource to LCCC’s plus 50 aspiring entrepreneurs.  SCORE counselors come to campus to work with plus 50 students interested in making career changes and starting their own businesses. Luzerne County Community College also offered a series of workshops for plus 50 students, titled "How to Really Start Your Own Business."  This workshop helps plus 50 students gain a better understanding of what it takes to have a successful business start-up. Topics include: business vision, strategy, and structure; marketing for small business; writing a business plan; pro’s and con’s of starting a new business; and buying an existing business or investing in a franchise.

Missouri

St. Louis Community College, MO has developed an intensive six - week course called"Plus 50 Entrepreneur" that teaches the principles of small business ownership and operations. Topics include business terms, forms and risks of ownership, marketing, record keeping, legal aspects and insurance needs, finding capital, financial planning, and tax considerations.  This class’ instruction is greatly enhanced with Carl Trautmann’s presentations.  Mr. Trautmann is a District Director of St. Louis, Missouri Chapter of SCORE and an experienced Fortune 500 corporate business manager, engineer, and business consultant.  Mr. Trautmann talks about creating and launching small business venture from his perspective and introduces participants to SCORE’s free online and face-to-face business counseling, mentoring, and training resources.

Mr. Trautmann also presents on finding the best way to start and run small businesses to plus 50 students enrolled in St. Louis Community College’s "Re-hired, Re-inspired, Re-wired" plus 50 transitional workshop. The course is designed for plus 50 students nearing their retirement, who want to stay in the workforce, but need a new direction.  The workshop helps them retool their professional skills after many years and determine what may replace the more traditional retirement path through a powerful interactive learning experience. Upon completion, workshop attendees are able to clarify their intentions, set goals and take action.  Mr. Trautmann provides invaluable guidance to those who have made the decision to set out on their own in pursuit of a lifelong dream of owning a business.

Headquartered in Washington, DC area, SCORE is a nonprofit group of 10,500 volunteers with 389 chapters nationwide. Both working and retired executives and business owners donate time and expertise as business counselors. SCORE volunteers provide free and confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs through face-to-face and online counseling. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA has a section of their website for 50+ entrepreneurs.

To learn more about SCORE and to identify a local chapter in your area that might be interested in helping your Plus 50 program, go to www.score.org. To find out more about resources for 50-Plus Entrepreneurs, visit SCORE’s 50+ Entrepreneurs Website.