In a year when SCORE Bucks County saw a record number of business mentoring requests, the chapter’s volunteers stepped up to provide twice as many workshops and saw nearly double the number of attendees compared to previous years.
The local chapter of the national nonprofit organization offered 41 webinars for fiscal year 2021, a 105 percent increase over the prior year. In all, 1,575 entrepreneurs and business owners participated in the no-cost virtual sessions, an increase of 99 percent over the previous year.
The Bucks County chapter – which most recently includes the eastern Montgomery County chapter as well – had the highest online seminar increases among any local chapter in SCORE’s 10-chapter district, according to SCORE Bucks Chairwoman Linda Zangrilli.
Given the success of its virtual information sessions, Zangrilli is hesitant to resume in-person workshops.
“People just find it more convenient,” she said of webinars, adding that the chapter commonly saw 20 people at in-person events as compared to several hundred at webinars. “We’re seeing how tremendously successful it’s been allowing people to do this.”
Zangrilli is hopeful that the chapter can return to its in-person women’s networking event in spring 2022 but is unsure if that will be possible given the pandemic.
Besides the growth in popularity and attendance of webinars, the chapter is also expanding its pool of certified volunteer mentors, according to Zangrilli. SCORE Bucks now has 63 members, including 10 provisional members who have recently come on board. However, even with these new volunteers, there is still a need for more since the chapter receives three or four mentoring requests from clients a day.
The influx of new members is necessary given the nearly 200 percent increase in mentoring sessions the chapter has seen year over year.