FY2020 is a year that tested the world – and SCORE – in ways we could never have expected. As the pandemic hit, we banded together as “One SCORE” to successfully navigate significant challenges and to support small business owners at critical moments.
More business owners than ever before reached out to SCORE for help in navigating the impact of the pandemic, as evidenced by our 30% increase in FY2020 total annual services. As businesses sought help from SCORE to address critical questions about funding and daily operations, SCORE quickly pivoted to deliver 100% virtual mentoring and education, without missing a single day of service.
Working with our corporate partners and sponsors, SCORE also created the Small Business Resilience Hub, which has served more than 700,000 business owners to date through online mentoring, resilience training and partner resources.
Since the pandemic began, we have seen firsthand how desperately small businesses owners need SCORE’s guidance and support. Many business owners told us they would not have applied for PPP or EIDL funding opportunities without a SCORE mentor to walk them through the confusing and overwhelming process, step-by-step.
In August, more than 600 volunteer leaders attended our first-ever Virtual Leadership Conference on the topic of “One SCORE.” While we wish we could have come together in person, volunteers and staff made the best of the opportunity and enjoyed productive days of learning and networking. Feedback was very positive and field leaders returned to their chapters, districts and regions inspired, informed and eager to share the best practices learned from fellow volunteers.
Last fall, we reinforced our Diversity Matters value by putting it into thoughtful action. We underscored the importance of our Code of Ethics for the entire SCORE organization and sought to increase diversity among both volunteers and clients with online recruiting campaigns.
Despite the dramatic challenges brought on by COVID-19, the ongoing efforts of SCORE volunteers, staff, corporate sponsors and the Board of Directors led to a significant positive impact within the U.S. small business community. United in our efforts, we helped entrepreneurs start 45,027 new businesses, creating 74,535 additional non-owner jobs. Eighty-two percent of our “in-business” clients were still in business at year-end.
We achieved a great deal in FY2020 and our important work continues. “One SCORE,” together with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative, remain top priorities in FY2021. These efforts support our mission of fostering vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education by working to ensure clients and volunteers have the same incredible experience no matter where or how they interact with SCORE.
SCORE continues to help the most vulnerable small business owners overcome challenges and utilize new opportunities effectively, to keep their doors open and keep people employed.
Thank you for continuing to generously donate your time, treasure and talents to achieve SCORE’s mission. Your support helps U.S. small businesses not only survive, but thrive.