The 1.4 million LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs across the United States are being honored during Pride Month by SCORE, mentors to small businesses and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
It is a fitting moment to celebrate the efforts of LGBTQ+ small businesses, who contribute $1.7 trillion to the American economy every year according to a SCORE meta-analysis. SCORE also point out that the LGBTQ+ community has a purchasing power of an estimated $917 billion dollars in the U.S. alone.
SCORE Support For All Entrepreneurs
SCORE has long supported diversity and it is a key part of their mission, vision and values. The organization supports all entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their small business and offers tools to help small business owners. These tools include 24/7 expert mentoring, resilience training and on-demand educational resources.
SCORE has helped around 11 million entrepreneurs start or grow a business since its founding in 1964, and currently boasts 10,000 volunteers who provide free mentoring, workshops and educational services to over 1,500 communities across America. Just last year alone, SCORE helped create 25,084 new businesses and 71,475 non-owner jobs.
A ‘Vital Role’ Played by LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs
The CEO of SCORE, Bridget Weston, said: “LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs play a vital role in the small business community. We want the LGBTQ+ community to know we are here to provide them with the tools and resources they need to excel when starting or growing their business.”
A beneficiary of SCORE also spoke about the help she received from SCORE mentors. Sarah Scala, president and principal consultant of Sarah A. Scala Consulting in Watertown, Massachusetts, has used SCORE as a resource since founding her business ten years ago. Sarah came out publically in 2021 in order to support and provide leadership coaching services to LGBTQ+ clientele. Sarah explained: “I challenged myself each month to do something additional to promote that I provide LGBTQ+ services. It has not been easy. However, I feel confident about this choice as I am supported by peers, mentors, clients and my network.
“Each of my SCORE mentors has been exceptional with providing advice, support and a sounding ear.”
Another SCORE client, Gavin Escolar, who owns The Chaga Company in San Francisco, California, also achieved success and support thanks to his SCORE mentor, Pete Slosberg. Gavin said: “The Chaga Company loves SCORE. SCORE has given my business tools, focus, courage and persistence which results in business success. My SCORE mentor Pete Slosberg is GOLD. He is hands-on with the direction of the company and has been on our side throughout this entrepreneurial journey.”