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SCORE Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan

SCORE is a nationally recognized volunteer arm of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Starting and growing a small business can be challenging, but you don’t have to go it alone. Your SCORE mentor will be there to answer questions, connect you with resources and offer guidance throughout the life of your business. SCORE mentors are volunteers, meaning they give their time freely to help business owners like you thrive. They are committed to the success of your business – and because they are all leaders in their fields, SCORE mentors deliver expert advice.

SCORE is composed of entrepreneurs, executives and high level managers, who want to strengthen the economic core of our community by sharing their own business expertise with:

  • Individuals who want to start a business or non-profit
  • Individuals who want to grow a business or non-profit
  • Individuals struggling and need some sound business advice
  • Individuals who just have a business question or need to explore an idea

Serving Southwestern Michigan, the Kalamazoo Chapter of SCORE started in 1975 including a branch in Benton Harbor. We have over 30 mentors with over 30 different backgrounds. We provide one-on-one counseling in Kalamazoo, Portage, Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, South Haven, Battle Creek, Three Rivers, Sturgis, Albion, Marshall, and Coldwater. These sessions are always at no charge. We also sponsor a series of useful workshops for the benefit of our clients at a modest charge.

Since SCORE was founded in 1964, we have educated more than 11 million established and aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, our 10,000+ expert volunteers provide business mentoring and education in more than 250 chapters in 1,500 communities nationwide, empowering local business owners, boosting regional economies and growing the larger American economy.

Prospective entrepreneurs with a mentor are five times more likely to start a business – and small business clients who receive 3+ hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased business growth.

In 2019 alone, SCORE mentors helped start 29,681 new businesses and create 97,387 new jobs. In the same year, we also helped 67% of our clients to increase their revenue. Find your own mentor to become our next success story!

Contact Information

  • Debi Howe
  • Branch Chair
  • (269) 344-1419
  • ch.admin0433@scorevolunteer.org
  • SCORE Kalamazoo/Southwest Michigan
    1126 Gull Rd, Ste B
    Kalamazoo, MI 49048

I appreciate your ears for listening, your eyes that see my vision and your heart that makes you who you are.  I thank you for your time. You are making a difference.

—Shawntel Lindsey, Director, The Artbor Community Connections Center

The WMed Innovation Center is a perfect environment for innovation to grow and become a successful commercial enterprise.

—Client

WMU Business Connection logo

Whether you are seeking a research partner or want to enlist the help of student groups in developing business plans, or just looking for ways to engage with WMU, the Business Connection office can find the resource to help move your business forward.

—Mentor

A loan (from Local Initiatives Support Corporation) helped expand our cafe to triple our seating, add a kids space, increase much needed staff work areas, and make other improvements to the space.

—Krystal

MEL logo

The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is the State of Michigan’s digital library. It has excellent resources available to Michigan residents at no cost.

—Owner

Western Michigan University’s Starting Gate helped me take an idea and transform it into a much more attainable reality. Whether providing talks with investors and business owners or accountability, the ultimate goal is helping your business succeed.

—Peter Shutt

Kalamazoo County Land Bank logo

The Kalamazoo Land Bank did robust community engagement around the vision and gave us something to work with that was solidly desired by people in the neighborhood. Having a vision meant we had to protect it. That’s something I thank the Land Bank for. It was difficult. It didn’t make anything faster or easier, but we got a better project in the end as a result of it.

—Matt Hollander

Buy Local logo

Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo is a hard working grassroots group focused on the greater Kalamazoo community and its small businesses. Their events and networking opportunities are the best!

—Cheri Bales

SBDC logo

Michigan SBDC is a great company providing top notch service to local businesses all over Michigan. The consultants are professional and the student workers contribute with excellent work!

—Martin Herman Sorensen

Score Kalamazoo logos

If you have any questions about starting, growing, or anything business related SCORE Kalamazoo/SW Michigan is a great resource.

—Taylor Kallio

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