SCORE is holding an entrepreneurs’ resource expo for veterans, their immediate family members and active military on Nov.10. The expo, where St. Petersburg College staff will also present educational seminars, is aimed at those who want to be self-employed or want to start or grow a business.
The expo is free to all veterans and their families.
Veteran and entrepreneur Mark Swanson will be the keynote speaker for the event that will be held at the event at the Hilton at Carillon starting at 10 a.m. Swanson also is a partner of the college’s Entrepreneurship Program.
SCORE is a national organization with 365 chapters around the country and more than 13,000 volunteers. The nonprofit association educates entrepreneurs and helps small businesses start, grow and succeed nationwide.
U.S. Small Business Administration survey data clearly indicates that about 40 to 60 percent of veterans think about being self-employed or starting a business. Most of them have no idea where to turn for guidance and assistance without cost to them nor do they know about the many ways to finance a business.
US Census data shows that, within Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sarasota/Manatee, Pasco/Hernando and Polk counties, there are more than 420,000 veterans. Approximately 117,000 are ages 18 to 54 and are prime candidates who at least think of self-employment.
SCORE’s goal is to reach out to veterans and encourage them to learn about available programs and free mentoring that can help them start up and grow their businesses. The organization has about 150 to 200 mentors in the Greater Tampa Bay area.