Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A potential game-changer: SCORE now offers on-line mentoring

I am an autistic adult, and I am in the process of writing a self-employment guide for autistic people.  I am also a survivor of psychological child abuse by both parents and my maternal grandma and a witness to my dad’s ongoing psychological abuse against my mother.  I have done extensive writing and thinking about how to help women escape from the control mechanisms of all types of domestic violence. I am deeply committed to the struggle against domestic violence and all forms of oppression.

In 2000, I started a business that involved publishing a newsletter on Latin American Internet companies.  I sought the help of a mentor from the Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE).  This outstanding group of successful business people volunteer their time to help new entrepreneurs with every aspect of their business, from writing a business plan to marketing and sales and human resources management. I found this advisor’s suggestions as very helpful. 

And so I was very pleased to discover that this group now offers on-line consultations with a national group of mentors.  You can search for a mentor by both industry specialization and by functional focus.  So you could search for a marketing mentor who has industry focus on the IT sector, for instance.  This service allows you to tap a previously unavailable national network of volunteer mentors so that you are no longer limited by geographic restrictions to meeting only with mentors in your local area.  So if you are starting a technology business in Florida, now you have access to technology marketing specialists in Silicon Valley. 

On-line mentoring is also extremely helpful to abused women who might want to start a home-based business without their male partner knowing about their activities. This way a woman could seek on-line advice about how to run her business.  She could operate under the radar of her abuser and would not have to leave the house to attend a mentoring meeting.  Thus, her abuser would be less likely to track or question her movements.  In this way a woman could begin making plans for her financial self-liberation from her abuser’s control while keeping her male partner in the dark and protecting her safety.   


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