By Jessica Mathews /

With more people venturing out onto their own, Livingston County business owners are being sought to help provide mentoring for small businesses and start-ups.

SCORE is a non-profit that provides various free mentoring and support services. There’s a big push for volunteers right now as their client base continues to rise with more and more people becoming entrepreneurs. For those starting up, mentors work with people directly to go through the motions of actually starting a business but also setting it up for sustainability. Business owners can reach out to a SCORE mentor who is a subject matter expert and can assist with specific needs and might be poised to grow or have some kind of special needs such as marketing or employee assistance. Other volunteers are business professionals who work in the industry and can lend expertise in various areas.

Score Mentor Tereance Moore owns a consulting business and is also a Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador for the non-profit. He says they’re looking for business owners or business professionals of varying skill sets to volunteer and share their knowledge. Moore says post-COVID; a lot of people became unemployed and are now venturing into starting their own business or others who might have picked up a new skillset that’s driving them to start a new business. He noted there are also a lot of business owners who were struck by the impact of COVID and need someone to guide them through back to a new normal.

Moore tells WHMI while they’re continuing to see clients multiply, they’re not seeing as many business owners volunteer and help to mentor others. He noted that for as many businesses that were lost over the last year due to the pandemic, there will be a lot more coming in over the next couple of years as innovation will be necessary. Moore stressed that everyone has some kind of subject matter expertise that someone else needs and something of value they can offer to support those looking to start or grow their business.

Moore added the non-profit has also taken a strong stand on equity and started SCORE for All, which features unique sites and domains for black entrepreneurs, Hispanic entrepreneurs, veterans, women in business, and they’re currently building a site for those with disabilities to learn how to start businesses. He says last year, SCORE’s client base was 60% women, 46% minorities, and 9% veterans – noting they are truly are an equitable organization looking to help anyone fulfill the American dream and start a business and sustain that business through tough times.

Moore said those interested can decide how much time they want to commit to volunteering and mentoring – which can be done online, by email, over the phone, or in-person when safe to do so.

More information for those interested in volunteering or obtaining free services is available through the provided link and in the attached press release.