There is an inherent dance in social innovation—balancing social & environmental sensibilities while harnessing entrepreneurial drive. Coming up on the side of small business is a compelling organization that was created for the sole purpose of helping small businesses launch and thrive.

SCORE logo signThink SCORE.
If you have are negotiating success in entrepreneurship, the Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE) may be able to help.  It is a 501(c)3 non-profit, is run by retired/semi-retired volunteers who have either owned & operated a small business or who held a senior position at a corporate level, and are passionate about making business ideas blossom.
After attending a workshop at the SCORE Silicon Valley office, I sat down with Membership Chair, Lido Scardigli to learn about the organization and how it can help budding social entrepreneurs.
Here are 3 ways social entrepreneurs can connect with SCORE:
1. Enlist a Mentor. With over 13,000 mentors in their database, there is likely one that is a good fit for you, your idea, and your company’s evolution. Lido mentioned that an idea is often enough to get the ball rolling with a mentor. And that all too often small businesses wait until they are in a tight spot to seek out help.  Most remarkable? The mentorship services are free! Imagine having an experienced mentor to guide you through the initial stages of building your big idea. The right help at the right time, is priceless.
2. Attend a Workshop. Legal Issues for Startups“, “Simple Steps Startup Basics”, “Marketing on the Internet“, “The Business Plan” are a few of the types of workshops offered regularly by the office in Silicon Valley. And with over 360 SCORE chapters nationwide, you may find these and more offerings nearby.  The workshops usually call for a fee and can be useful, especially for first-time entrepreneurs trying to conceptualize the multitude of moving parts.
3. Use the Business Library. Whether you want to research which form of business you should  incorporate as, find templates for common business forms, or seek written inspiration from entrepreneurs who have succeeded—you can probably find a book or two of interest at a SCORE office. And the advantage of reading the books at SCORE is that you can talk to an experienced volunteer if you have any questions.
You can also peruse the SCORE website for webinars, free templates, how to register for an email mentor, upcoming events, and catching up on the latest headlines.