he rise in women-owned businesses in the U.S. over the past five years has been significant, with a 21% increase fueling interest among female founders in small business training, networking, and mentoring opportunities. According to SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, this surge is reflected in the growing number of women seeking guidance for their business ventures. Currently, 64% of SCORE’s clients are women, up from 60% two years ago.

“With 10,000 volunteer mentors and more than 200 chapters across the U.S., SCORE offers women small business owners many opportunities to connect with expert advice tailored to their unique needs – whether that is guidance from an experienced SCORE mentor, relevant networking opportunities, or helpful resources,” explains SCORE CEO Bridget Weston.

Expanding Networking Opportunities

Local events for women small business owners are on the rise, providing vital opportunities for connection and resources. A recent conference by SCORE Bucks County (Pa.), titled “Women Building Businesses,” drew over 200 attendees and featured speakers specializing in various fields, from social media consulting to employment law. “Our goal for this conference was to provide practical, usable information to our women entrepreneurs, and I think all of the speakers delivered what we asked for,” said Linda Zangrilli, chapter chair of SCORE Bucks County. The conference sessions are available on demand for those who could not attend in person.

Similarly, SCORE Westchester (N.Y.) hosted a Women’s Small Business Symposium in September, attracting more than 100 attendees. The event, themed “Beating the Odds,” included speakers such as executives, business owners, loan officers, grant experts, and business tool demonstrators. These sessions were designed to help women entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of small business ownership. Resources from the symposium are available online for continued support.

The Impact of Mentorship

Mentorship has proven to be a critical advantage for many women small business owners. Entrepreneurs who work with a mentor are five times more likely to start a business and report higher revenues and increased business growth. One such entrepreneur is Juanny Romero, owner of Mothership Coffee Roasters in Henderson, Nev. Romero worked with an expert business mentor and advocates for other entrepreneurs to do the same. “Embrace mentorship, and you’ll find that the guidance you receive can be a game-changer for your entrepreneurial journey,” said Romero.

Tracy Davidson
Journalist Tracy Davidson (left) was the keynote speaker at SCORE Bucks County’s Women Building Businesses conference.

SCORE provides free and confidential business advice, with many mentors being successful women small business owners themselves. These mentors are ready to help other entrepreneurs achieve their business goals, offering insights and advice drawn from their own experiences.

Resources Tailored for Women Entrepreneurs

SCORE’s commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs is evident in the resources and tools they offer. The organization provides specialized guidance and materials tailored specifically to the needs of women in business. These resources include business planning tools, financial templates, marketing strategies, and access to a network of experienced mentors.

The comprehensive support system offered by SCORE empowers women to navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business. Whether through one-on-one mentoring, educational workshops, or networking events, SCORE ensures that women entrepreneurs have access to the knowledge and support they need to succeed.

In summary, the rise of women-owned businesses underscores the importance of mentorship and networking in achieving entrepreneurial success. SCORE’s extensive network of mentors and tailored resources provides invaluable support to female founders, helping them overcome challenges and thrive in their business ventures. As more women seek guidance and opportunities, organizations like SCORE play a crucial role in fostering a supportive and empowering business environment.