So you’ve got a great idea for a new business, the drive and passion to make it work, and perhaps even a few of the preliminary details figured out. There’s just one problem: starting a business requires money.
Lots of entrepreneurs begin their businesses using whatever resources they have available. This can include their personal savings, loans from family and friends, and the use of credit cards. But after these resources have been tapped, you may still need additional funds to start your business.
That’s where SCORE Westchester fits in. This team of experienced business professionals works with aspiring and established entrepreneurs in Westchester County. They provide all kinds of free assistance to help you start your business, including:
Assistance with SBA Loans
SBA loans are small business loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration, a government agency tasked with supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses. The actual loans are issued by participating lenders, mostly banks. You can secure up to $5 million via a SBA loan – although most loans are much smaller – but the application process is complicated and involved.
Your SCORE mentor – the professional specifically selected to help you grow your business – can guide you through the application process, providing resources, support and encouragement. Additionally, SCORE Westchester hosts several small business education workshops throughout the year, many of which focus on securing funding.
Learn to Identify & Attract Investors
Borrowing money isn’t your only option. Investors fund new businesses, in the expectation that they’ll profit from your eventual success. There are several types of investors, including venture capitalists, angel investors, and online investors such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe.
As part of the process of developing your business plan, your SCORE mentor will work with you on identifying and attracting investors, including critical steps like developing your elevator pitch and having the business fundamentals investors look for in place. Additionally, SCORE Westchester can help you build your networking skills and provides many opportunities for you to connect with other local business professionals.
Grants & Special Programs
Westchester County is home to some truly creative people who come up with innovative, unique business ideas. There may be grants and special programs available that are tailored to the type of business you want to grow. You’ll find your SCORE mentor to be a valuable guide to identifying and making use of the most relevant opportunities.
Your First Step: Meet Your Mentor
All of SCORE Westchester’s services are free for Westchester County residents. The first step is to find a Mentor, who will work with you as you build your business. To learn more about our Mentors, and to schedule your free, confidential meeting, visit https://westchester.score.org/content/find-mentor-91. We do have Spanish speaking mentors!