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SCORE expands programs to veterans

SCORE, a source of free and confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs, supports the First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces Initiative, a program designed to improve support for military service members and their families. As part of this program, SCORE volunteers will reach out to provide mentoring, tools, and training to military personnel and their families who want to use their special skills and knowledge to start or grow their own small business.

Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned. In this ongoing effort, the First Lady and Dr. Biden will highlight issues that are of special importance to the military families they have met with across the country, including the areas of employment, education, and wellness.

For more than 45 years, SCORE has provided mentoring and training to entrepreneurs through its network of 13,500 volunteer mentors and trainers.  SCORE, with the support of a $500,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, has created the new “Veterans Fast Launch” initiative.  The new program will be a combined package of services, scholarships and free software (provided by major corporate partners) combined with SCORE’s mentoring program.

The aim of “Veterans Fast Launch” is to help accelerate veterans’ ability, and their families’ ability, to succeed as a small business owner. In addition to the Walmart Foundation, other SCORE technology and business sponsors include AICPA, AVG, Cisco, Constant Contact, DocStoc, HP, Intacct, Microsoft, Salesforce and Square. SCORE will also work closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the Small Business Administration’s Veterans Business Outreach Centers, which last year reached over 45 thousand veterans through their 16 centers nationwide, to expand outreach. The first year’s target for this program is to provide assistance to 16,000 military veterans and their families and help launch 3,000 new businesses..

“SCORE is thrilled to take part in this White House initiative and to work together toward a common goal of providing support and resources to our service members and their families,” says SCORE CEO Ken Yancey. “This new program gives SCORE, and its partners, the opportunity to offer free business advice and tools to aid in the successful transition of our nation’s veterans and their families to small business ownership.”

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