SCORE: Helping the Entrepreneurial Spirit Within You 4

Often people become entrepreneurs because they want to take charge of their financial future and enjoy the freedom of being their own boss. Being an entrepreneur entails many positive aspects, such as making your own decisions, limitless income potential, the chance to meet and work with remarkable people, and freedom. Also, it has some negative aspects; many more hours of intense dedication and work, always on call–which translates into work-life unbalances–stress and loneliness. Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not easy. It takes time, dedication, and, above all, persistence. Therefore, help is always needed, and the acquisition of knowledge is key.

The SCORE Association, supported by the SBA (Small Business Administration), is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories. The organization can provide relevant support to any entrepreneur.

During the last 50 years, the Orange County Chapter of SCORE, Chapter 114, has been dedicated to helping businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. The chapter is formed by more than 100 volunteer mentors, who help start and grow small businesses. Chapter 114 is one of the largest chapters nationwide and has proven to be very successful in helping businesses. In the last few years, Orange County SCORE volunteers personally held more than 4,000 sessions with entrepreneurs and educated more than 11,000 people in 350 workshops. An independent study concluded that in 2012, Orange County SCORE helped start 287 new businesses and created 1,615 new jobs.

SCORE OC offers multiple solutions for small businesses, startups and minority owned businesses, such as no-cost personal mentoring, free and low-cost workshops, a free-of-charge advisory board of mentors for existing businesses, and the CEO Forum, consisting of a program for existing business owners to work through their issues in a peer-to-peer learning environment. Other free services include the bi-monthly Women in Business Breakfasts, and the annual Women Business Owners Conference.

SCORE Chapter 114 is located at 5 Hutton Center Drive, Santa Ana 92707. If interested in setting an appointment, call 714.550.7369. Mentoring appointments take place between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. The office supports the appointment scheduling for the following cities: Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Covina, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana and Whittier.

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