Where do entrepreneurs go when they are stuck on a problem? Where does someone looking to open their own business go for help? Navigating the world of starting and growing your own business can be a scary place but not when you have a community to help you! While we provide the funding we love our partnership with SCORE who can help anyone with the A to Z of becoming a business owner.
But what is SCORE? SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring services to prospective and established small business owners in the United States. More than 10,000 volunteers provide these services, with all volunteers being active and retired business executives and entrepreneurs.In addition to mentoring, SCORE also offers free and low-cost educational workshops each year, both online and in-person. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration. It operates out of 300 chapters across the U.S., with national headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. Today we are sitting down with Juan Manuel Ruiz, SCORE Advisor and former president of the Salt Lake chapter.
Dr. Ruiz got his bachelor’s Degree from Utah Valley University, his Six Sigma Master Black Belt postgraduate degree from Pacific Rim Business Review at Brigham Young University. He received postgraduate certificates from the Chicago Booth University and the University of Utah. In 2016, Mr. Ruiz was honored by the Claustro Iberoamericano with an Honoris Causa Doctorate Degree.
Mr. Ruiz has been an activist and a community leader, having served as director of Finance of Centro Cívico Mexicano, member of the National Civil Rights Committee of LULAC, Chairman of the Board of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce, Board Secretary & founder of the National Association of State Latino Chambers of Commerce, Vice-President of the Utah Republican Hispanic Assembly and has been a SCORE® Certified Advisor since 2009. Currently, Dr. Ruiz is the Utah SCORE Director of Workshops. SCORE is a non-profit organization that provides one-one-one mentoring services to businesses for FREE, and owns and operates Business Managerial Accounting, LLC.
UMLF: Juan tell us about the history of SCORE as an organization?
Juan: Since 1964, we have provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs. Thanks to this generous support from the SBA and because of the selfless contributions of our more than 10,000 dedicated volunteers, we are able to deliver most of our offerings at no cost.
UMLF: What type of businesses do you typically help?
Juan: We work slightly more with startups and pre-startups, but over 40% of our clients have existing businesses in excess of $1,000,000 in revenue.
UMLF: Wow! Out of all these businesses do you have a favorite memory of a time you helped a client work through an issue or reach a goal?
Juan: I do! I met a Doctoral graduate of the University of Utah who had been hired by the U to develop their African American Doctoral programs. She was challenged by the assignment given that Utah does not have large african american population. We assisted her in developing a marketing strategy that sold Utah, its strong economy, its fats-growing diversity, and many of the other socio-economic indicators that make our state great. As a result, the program was able to start attracting and recruiting new african american students in double digit growth and she was able to secure permanent employment with the U.
UMLF: SCORE is obviously a wealth of information for people looking to start or grow their business. Tell us about some of the resources you provide to emerging entrepreneurs?
1. SCORE has a library online (https://www.score.org/browse-library) that contains vast amounts of materials . These materials are searchable by format, industry, business stage, topic, and entrepreneur type. Blogs, posts, ads, hundreds of articles, eGuides, infographics, templates, checklists, podcasts, video, data reports, etc.
2. SCORE Offers business hundreds of local live workshops annually at the local libraries, BRC's, chamber of commerce, and through many other partners. In addition, SCORE has hundreds of LIVE, RECORDED and ON-DEMAND workshops online (https://www.score.org/content/take-workshop).
3. SCORE offers FREE one-on-one mentoring services that can happen as long as the clients needs it, and as often as she wants. We have a roster with over 70 top-notch mentors who are eager and excited to share their extensive knowledge with others. Most of out mentors are not retired, but still donate plenty of hours to our cause. 30% of them are female, 35% speak a second or third language (a total of 12 different languages are spoken at our local SCORE chapter).
UMLF: You guys must have an incredible impact on the community. Tell us about some of your achievements and milestones?
- Over 200 live, local workshops per year
- Over 70 volunteers who volunteer over 10,000 hours every year
- Over 7500 unique clients served in 2018 through mentoring and workshops
- We have offices in Logan, Brigham City, Ogden, Kaysville, Tooele, Salt Lake City, Millcreek, Glendale, Sandy, Orem, and Saint George.
And all of this is done with an annual federal budget of under $30K for the entire state.
UMLF: Impressive as always! Thanks for sitting down with us.
To stay in touch with SCORE and to utililze their services visit:
Phone: (801) 957-5453