By Ray York, Business Counselor for the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay

Sheboygan, WI – I recently read an article by Kathleen McShane titled Mentoring: the Missing Link to Small Business Growth and Survival.  The article stated that 70 percent of small businesses that received mentoring survived more than five years – double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses.  In addition, 88% of business owners with a mentor said that having one was invaluable.

As a small business owner, I recognize how imperative it is to develop my network of trusted business professionals to provide regular guidance and counseling on sound business decision-making on a day-to-day basis.  A small business owner cannot be an expert in everything – it truly does take a village to ensure the success of an entrepreneur.  A mentorship, however, provides the small business owner with a different level of support.  A valuable mentor relationship provides the small business owner access to the knowledge, social capital, & wisdom of a seasoned professional that they can connect with on an informal basis.

One of the objectives of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) is to stimulate entrepreneurship in Sheboygan County.  The SCEDC formed a partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay to offer free business counseling and business planning services.  

The SCEDC recognizes that when small businesses receive mentoring, the chances for success increase exponentially.  The SCEDC now has an in-house SCORE volunteer to expand its entrepreneurship resources in Sheboygan County.  For over 50 years, SCORE has served as America’s premier source of free business mentoring and education.  SCORE is the nation’s largest network of volunteer business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters.

“We feel that this partnership is a tremendous value for any person who is thinking of starting a new business.  The guidance and resources available are another way for helping a new entrepreneur succeed,” said Gary Dulmes, SCEDC Chairman of the Board.

As a call to action, and to encourage small business growth, the SCEDC asks our experienced small business owners and executives to consider becoming a SCORE mentor.  If you are a small business owner seeking a mentor, there are many resources available to you in Sheboygan County!  Please reach out to the SCEDC to connect with local professionals who will help in your personal and business development, including our many local chambers of commerce, SBDC, SCORE, and a variety of networking groups.

When Sheboygan County works together, we drive more success in our communities!

For more information please contact the SCEDC at info@SheboyganCountyEDC.com or call (920)452-2479