CINCINNATI—June X, 2020—When COVID-19 forced her to close the doors of her shop in March, Sewendipity Lounge Owner Karen Williams began producing masks out of her home. She also turned to her business mentor for advice and moral support.
“Through our Women’s CEO Roundtable, we were able to keep people encouraged and get good advice,” Williams said. “They set up Zoom conferencing and we were also able to find out resources for small businesses like loans, suggestions and ideas.”
At her store on Main Street, downtown, Williams has offered sewing classes, custom work and alterations for four years. Her SCORE Greater Cincinnati Mentor, Mary Jane Good, has seen her through the tough times.
“In 2015, I was given a mentor, which was the best thing to ever happen to me,” Williams said. “She has been a cheerleader for me. She was very supportive and stuck in there and encouraged me.”
Mentoring has proven to help business owners succeed.
“Small business owners who receive three or more hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased growth,” said SCORE Greater Cincinnati Co-Chair Gordon Daniels. “We want Cincinnati’s would-be entrepreneurs to know that our mentors are ready to help them with decades of experience and valuable connections. We will meet them in-person, online or over the phone.”
Small business owners can request free mentoring through SCORE Greater Cincinnati, which also conducts virtual training sessions and conferences throughout the year. Mentoring sessions can be one-on-one or in a team format.
“The downtime is a great opportunity to retool and figure out what you want to do,” Williams said.
Sewing as many as 400 masks and alterations orders have kept Williams busy in recent months. Her fashion-forward, 4-ply masks contain a hepa filter and retail for $15 on her website, sewendipitylounge.com.
SCORE is also looking for new volunteers with solid business experience. Mentors spend four to 20 hours per month helping entrepreneurs create business plans, grow existing businesses, and find creative ways to solve today’s problems. To learn more, visit https://greatercincinnati.score.org/content/volunteer-application.
SCORE Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana Chapter is a nonprofit organization with approximately 100 experienced volunteers who offer free mentoring in all aspects of business development and operations. The chapter offers low-cost educational seminars and maintains an extensive library of business briefs and online webinars. SCORE is the oldest and largest free business mentoring organization in the US with over 12,000 volunteers nationwide who are motivated to give back to their local communities through their support of small business.