.

GET INVOLVED

Volunteer with SCORE

Support small businesses in your community. SCORE is looking for people with diverse backgrounds and experiences to serve in a variety of roles — from knowledgeable business mentors to local community advocates.

Kurt Hulliger

Kurt Hulliger,

SCORE Volunteer Mentor

"Rural entrepreneurs have a longer-term outlook, influenced by the weather and the growth cycles of crops and animals. They are entrusted with improving the land to guarantee healthful products for their customers. I enjoy working over years with my clients and develop friendships that last."

SCORE is dedicated to helping Rural entrepreneurs achieve their business goals.

Rural small businesses dominate over businesses with 500 employees or more at 42% of the job share market within their population area. Small businesses in rural areas declined by 33% over ten years; the rural populations have also been on a downhill trend. With the population declining in rural areas, rural small businesses struggle to hire employees, grow, and maintain their customer numbers. Additionally, small businesses have difficulty accessing funding and dependable broadband internet that is much more readily available in larger cities.

With SCORE resources and free mentoring services at your fingertips, we can help you overcome any business challenge along the way. We offer personal, expert mentorship to small business owners in rural communities and provide free business training, both in-person and virtually. We also offer informative business resources that focus on helping you grow your business while maintaining your rural roots.

Town and Country Quilter group hold their quilts

“With my mentor's help, I've been able to expand to a retail space, hire my first employee, and make tough decisions based on "the numbers" now that I know what the numbers are.”

Town and Country Quilter

Superior Screening Services Inc. team

"Our mentor is hands down a class act. He has shared several ideas, thoughts, and advice that has helped shape this company to what it is."

Superior Screening Services Inc.

Rural Entrepreneur's lack fast internet connection

39% of the U.S. rural population, or 23 million people, lack access to “fast” broadband internet service compared with 4% of urban residents.

Promoting Rural Entrepreneurship and Rural Economic Development

Rural small businesses are smaller and grow more slowly

Rural businesses are smaller and grow more slowly but, they’re also more likely to be profitable than their urban counterparts and have longer survival rates.

Rural Small Businesses Earn Better Profits and More Financing vs. City Ones

Loan value to rural entrepreneurs have declined by more than half

The value of small loans to rural businesses declined by more than half between 2004 and 2017, after adjusting for inflation.
Promoting Rural Entrepreneurship and Rural Economic Development

GET FREE BUSINESS ADVICE

From Experienced Mentors

SCORE business mentors can help you start, grow, or transition your business. Enter your zip code above to get matched with a business expert near you!

"I've been mentoring clients for 13 years and it's always an honor to help individuals with a true entrepreneurial spirit reach their dream of owning a small business. Working with these clients is the exactly why I joined SCORE."

Hugh J MacMaster,

SCORE Volunteer Mentor

Hugh J MacMaster

"Rural business owners need someone like a SCORE mentor to help talk through issues and problems. It is hard to stay focused when dealing with the urgent issues which arise in any business."

Kent Adams,

SCORE Volunteer Mentor

Kent Adams

Rural Entrepreneurs Who Turned to SCORE as a Partner in Their Success

With SCORE by your side, you don't have to go it alone. SCORE has helped countless rural entrepreneurs find success in their small businesses. See how SCORE has helped some of the small business owners start and grow their small businesses. Yours could be the next success story! 

Touright Bicycle Shop

Touright Bicycle Shop

David Sperstad had dreamed of working in a bicycle shop since he was 13 years old, but it took being let go from a job as an adult to help him get there.

United Agricultural Services of America

UAS of America

SCORE's first counseling session with this client was held on March 31, 2000 and since then, through face-to-face, telephone and e-mail contacts, we have provided over 200 mentoring sessions.

Superior Screening Services

Superior Screening Services, Inc.

"I learned to set your goals and go after them. Set them high, work as hard as you can and the good will come." Says president Shelby Edward Meyer.

Town and Country Quilter

Town and Country Quilter

"Town and Country Quilt Shop is an expanding shop in the historic district of Albion, NY.  I have been offering long arm quilting services since 2003." Says owner Tara Thom.

Resources for Rural Entrepreneurs

Check out resources created especially for rural business owners.

Find a Workshop near you:

Blog

The Dos and Don’ts of Turning Your Hobby Into a Business

Article Language: English
July 27, 2022,

According to Business Jargons, an online business encyclopedia, it’s often harder to start a business in rural areas, due to several factors, including a lack of technical know-how and training. But the encyclopedia also points out that several businesses are particularly well-suited for those living in rural America.

Blog

Best Legal Entities for Rural Entrepreneurs

Article Language: English
July 25, 2022,

To ensure rural small business owners have all the facts regarding business structure, here is a quick guide to what entities are available for your rural business and how each can protect you from future legal nightmares.

Blog

12 Funding Options for Rural Entrepreneurs

Article Language: English
July 14, 2022,

From crowdfunding to state trade expansion programs, there are several funding options for rural entrepreneurs

Blog

11 Resources To Help Rural Entrepreneurs Succeed

Article Language: English
July 8, 2022,

From applying for grants to researching local economic development organizations, there are several resources to help rural entrepreneurs succeed.

eGuide

Legacy Planning for Farm Owners

Article Language: English

You've taken great care of your farm throughout your life. Use this guide to ensure that it's equally well cared for as it passes into other hands. Read more

Blog

Opportunities and Obstacles for Rural Entrepreneurs

Article Language: English
August 1, 2019,

Our latest infographic, “Rural Entrepreneurship” explores how running a business in rural communities differs from their suburban and urban counterparts.

Infographic

Infographic: Rural Entrepreneurship

Article Language: English

SCORE's latest infographic examines the benefits and challenges of running a small business in rural America. Read more

Blog

Small Towns as Business Incubators

Article Language: English
March 29, 2019,

One of the most successful support structures for small business growth in small towns has been business incubators.