The Fort Wayne chapter of SCORE was founded in 1976 as Chapter 0050. We are an active chapter and have more than 55 volunteers. Client service is the objective of Fort Wayne SCORE and our volunteer business counselors are dedicated to providing the best possible service. Face-to-face in workshops or online, the counselors of Fort Wayne SCORE are able and willing to aid in the success of small business. SCORE counselors provide you with in-depth, industry-specific business assistance to help evaluate a business idea or plan, stimulate business growth and ensure long-term stability.

A Little More About Our History to Date

In 1974 and 1975, a group of Fort Wayne executives agreed to help the Small Business Administration in Indianapolis monitor businesses that had received S.B.A. Loans. The area covered included the cities of Fort Wayne, South Bend, Warsaw, etc. Six executives were members this group: and one is with us today. Mr. Jack Dever…still a very active and contributing member. In 1976 at the urging of the SCORE chapter in Indianapolis, a SCORE chapter was formed in Fort Wayne; the members receiving its charter on June 1 of that year. The original efforts were to monitor the businesses that had received S.B.A. loans, continuing the work of that the group had been doing. But the members gradually started to counsel new businesses.

One of the early successes was the Chapter’s assistance in helping Pat Miller and Barbara Bradley Baekgaard start Vera Bradley. And In March 1985, Chapter 50 nominated Vera Bradley Associates as the Indiana Small Business Company of the year. Interestingly they were not selected. Beyond what I have just shared, the history of the Fort Wayne Chapter is rather scarce. It is easy to extrapolate from notes and minutes, though, that more than 400 men and women have been members of our Chapter…..more than 35,000 businesses and individuals have been served…..and another local favorite that is noteworthy is the Cookie Cottage…….

Chapter members counsel businesses in every industry….from tarot reading and reflexology to Aluminum smelters to recyclers and high-tech computer software developers. All sessions are confidential and SCORE members are prohibited from financially participating or benefiting from a client’s business. Services have expanded over the years. For this past fiscal year, for all services, the Chapter will have served more than 1400 businesses and individuals in Northeast Indiana.

  • The primary activity is face-to-face mentoring, either in our office, located in the Lower Level of this building or elsewhere within the community.
  • Many of our members choose to email mentor SCORE’s maintains a database of all members that includes our work experiences, areas of expertise…..And those of us that agree, are accessible as a resource to anyone in the United States through the National SCORE Website.
  • We are especially proud of our involvement in helping start and providing ongoing support to the Annual Women’s Business Forum held in May at Trine University. 110 attendees this year.
  • More than 12 years ago, SCORE member Craig Miller, present with us today, was instrumental in starting the CEO Roundtable events held each month, at what was then the Chamber, and is now Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Our members still, participate and help facilitate, discussions and activities that aid each CEO to deal with common and shared problems and hurdles.
  • A branch was in 2007 established in Kendallville….co-located with the Chamber of Commerce…..and in Angola, with a new office location within Trine University’s new entrepreneurial complex of Innovation One.
  • The Fort Wayne Chapter is serving in an advisory capacity to Indiana Tech’s new entrepreneurial venture, the Center for Creative Collaboration; Trine University’s entrepreneurial venture, Innovation One; and the University of St. Francis’s Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership Center.
  • Our members often give guest lectures in classrooms at Ivy tech, Indiana tech, and Grace Universities.….
  • Our members partner with Ivy tech, St. Francis University and Grace College by mentoring student teams participating in school sponsored Business Plan Competitions.
  • The Chapter participates by weekly in workshops at the Urban League, talking with folks looking for jobs about the do’s and don’ts of starting a business and the services that SCORE offers. as well as speaking frequently in the community about what it takes to be entrepreneur…and community resources.

Join SCORE and Become a Volunteer today!

  • Have you had a successful business career, and believe that you have something to contribute to the business community? SCORE may be just the opportunity you are looking for to share your business knowledge and experience. Help emerging businesses succeed and stay active in the Fort Wayne marketplace.
  • SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business"  is the premiere small business counseling and advice organization in the United States. SCORE is a non-profit, charitable organization composed of men and women who volunteer their services.
  • Consider taking advantage of this unique opportunity to give something back to the business community. SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA.
  • Giving back to the community is important . . . as a business professional, you have talents and business acumen that you can share with others.  When you do, the Treasure Coast business community benefits . . . and so do you!
  • SCORE’s variety of outreach efforts means there’s a SCORE opportunity for you – no matter your area of expertise, time availability, or personal preference for involvement.

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