SLEC is now offering a free mentorship program for small business owners in the Bayou Region. Through the Baton Rouge Chapter of SCORE, volunteers with business experience assist entrepreneurs; those who think they want to own a business; and small business owners in overcoming a variety of common challenges.
As a nonprofit helping small businesses grow from ideas to successful enterprises, SCORE partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in leveraging its network of over 13,000 volunteer mentors. These individuals – collectively comprising over 3,000 years of business acumen across 60+ industries – provide confidential business counseling services at no charge.
“We are thrilled to bring this program to the Bayou Region,” says Vic Lafont, President and CEO of SLEC. “We understand that small business owners are often running every ‘department’ at once, and guidance from experienced leaders can be invaluable. We look forward to encouraging more community leaders to share their knowledge and become mentors as well.”
In its SCORE program start-up phase, SLEC has partnered with one SCORE certified mentor in the Bayou Region to offer business mentorship. The volunteer can lead mentees through business plan development; financial forecasting; marketing and sales; franchising; buy-sell negotiations; and other areas of growth to further their business objectives.
Through both in-person and virtual counseling, SCORE’s Baton Rouge Chapter deploys over 70 seasoned businesspeople offering their expertise. Interested volunteers with business experience in the Bayou Region are encouraged to apply; they may call Sarah Taylor at 225-215-0080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Counseling sessions will run up to one hour and a client may schedule as many sessions as desired. To schedule time with a mentor, business owners may visit https://batonrougearea.score.org/ and click “Request a Meeting.” A certified SCORE mentor will follow up within 48 hours to schedule. Post-meeting, the mentor will provide the client a list of things to work on over the next month.
A digital resource library packed with local business templates, blogs and a myriad of valuable tools extends training knowledge even further – also completely free to those seeking guidance. Small business training workshops are available via the Baton Rouge SCORE office within LA Tech Park; upcoming sessions can be found here.