Eau Claire (WQOW) - A local program that helps budding businesses is looking for more volunteers. The SCORE administration is a nonprofit organization that helps small businesses get off the ground.
The Western Wisconsin Chapter of SCORE is located in downtown Eau Claire. Don Parkhurst is a retired business man and has been volunteering with SCORE for the past twenty years.
"It's fun, it's exciting to see people that have there act together and come here or people that are lacking something and come for some help," says Certified Volunteer Counselor, Donald Parkhurst.
Volunteers do anything from reviewing business plans to helping with financial planning. They serve customers both online and in person. Linda Putnam has been volunteering her time for about two years.
"It's exciting to hear about the different business opportunities that are out there, just to see their enthusiasm, have their dreams, and help them fulfill those dreams," says, Certified Volunteer Counselor, Linda Putnam.
Six years ago, when they were just getting off the ground, the Florian Gardens in Eau Claire turned to SCORE counselors for help.
Dave Burke, the owner of The Florian Gardens, says, "These are successful business people who are there to help you, to walk you through those steps. They've walked those steps themselves, and I myself as a new entrepreneur hadn't walked that step yet and it was so nice to be able to sit down with them, show them my business plan, show them what my vision was and then get my feedback as far as what they think would work and what would not work."
Fifteen SCORE volunteers serve eight different counties and last year alone worked with close to three hundred businesses. To handle that kind of traffic, the organization needs more volunteers.
Parkhurst says, "We're always looking for new skill, as you know technology is one example where it is changing so rapidly, we're constantly looking for people with good technology skills, and other skills."
"We really do need some volunteers to help us because we're trying to help the state by establishing and helping people to grow their business if they already have one and so they can hire more employees," says Putnam.
Dave Burke says one day he'd like to come full circle.... And volunteer for the organization that helped him get his start as an entrepreneur.
"Right now we are still in the beginning stages of business. As time goes on and I finally have more free time on my hands I would like to consider getting into something like that. I'd love to help out other entrepreneurs," says Burke.
SCORE is looking for active or retired business owners, executives, or professionals.
If you would like to volunteer click here to visit their website. You can also call their phone number at (715) - 834-1573.
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