Today I’m in Washington, DC, meeting with business professionals from around the country to discuss the Deluxe Mentoring Methodology Project. All of us are here to help small businesses grow. The Deluxe Mentoring Methodology Project is a SCORE project with a mission; Help Create 1 Million Small Businesses.

Why create a standard mentoring methodology?

SCORE believes that a standard mentoring methodology, offered nationally and built on evidence-based interventions, can increase the number of successful businesses being started each year and significantly boost business survivability rates, particularly in the first six quarters of their business life cycle.

This project is important because the mentoring SCORE provides meets a vital community need of helping entrepreneurs develop business plans; map strategies to overcome challenges and meet opportunities; and offer troubleshooting advice on a myriad of business issues. Communities today need these services continued and expanded to help build healthy economies.

There are several corporate and individual sponsors participating such as:

The Deluxe Corporation Foundation, SCORE and The SCORE Foundation will be working together to develop a new program, the DELUXE/SCORE Success Advantage business mentoring methodology. The Deluxe Corporation Foundation will underwrite funding for the creation and implementation of this initiative which will support SCORE’s new business model. The standard mentoring methodology can significantly increase business survival rates and help small businesses create new jobs. The program will provide specific training, templates and processes that SCORE mentors can use to help aspiring entrepreneurs start new businesses.

PartnerUp, a Deluxe Corporation Company, is the first and largest online community geared solely toward small business owners and entrepreneurs. They are the leading provider of enterprise solutions software for companies looking to target the small business market. PartnerUp was founded in February 2005 and acquired by Deluxe Corporation in July 2008. PartnerUp is headquartered in Minneapolis.

Jones Day and Andrew Sherman – Thank you to Jones Day and Andrew Sherman for hosting our December 22, 2009, panel meeting. Mr. Sherman is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Jones Day with over 2,400 lawyers worldwide. He is the author of 18 books on business growth, capital formation and the leveraging of intellectual property. He has served as a top-rated Adjunct Professor in the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs at the University of Maryland for 22 years and at Georgetown University for 14 years where he teaches courses on business growth strategy. He has served as General Counsel to the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization (YEO) since 1987. In 2003, Fortune magazine named him one of the Top Ten Minds in Entrepreneurship and in February of 2006, Inc. magazine named him one of the all-time champions and supporters of entrepreneurship.

Stay tuned – more to come as the project progresses.