Rural Small Businesses Grow More Slowly Than Large Businesses, Mentorship Can Help

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2024 ~ According to a recent press release from SCORE, a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses in rural areas are facing greater challenges and growing at a slower rate compared to their larger counterparts. As the nation's largest network of volunteer business mentors, SCORE is determined to change this trend by providing rural small businesses with the necessary resources and support they need to achieve greater growth.

The SBA reports that between 2012 and 2019, rural small business employment only grew by 1%, while rural large business employment saw a significant increase of 13%. Additionally, a survey conducted by SCORE revealed that rural entrepreneurs are more likely to be impacted by higher costs of doing business compared to non-rural entrepreneurs. In response to these disparities, SCORE offers free personalized guidance from expert mentors across various industries and business strategies, specifically tailored to address the unique challenges faced by those in rural communities.

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One such entrepreneur who has benefited from SCORE's mentorship is Kat Johnson, who sought guidance when starting her salad-centric farm in Check, Virginia. Johnson explains, "Making decisions in isolation is really intimidating, especially when you're not sure what is considered 'normal' or what to expect before experiencing it. My SCORE mentor has been instrumental in helping me reach my goals and anticipate the next phase of my business."

In addition to mentorship, SCORE also provides a range of resources designed for small businesses. These include online workshops and courses, as well as helpful articles and templates that equip entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools needed for success.

SCORE mentor Kurt Hulliger emphasizes the importance of long-term relationships with clients in rural communities. He says, "Rural entrepreneurs have a longer-term outlook and are entrusted with improving the land for their customers. I enjoy working with my clients over years and developing lasting friendships."

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Through its partnerships with community and government organizations at both local and national levels, SCORE also assists rural entrepreneurs in finding and navigating funding opportunities. Rhiannon Hampson, Maine State Director at USDA Rural Development, acknowledges the crucial role of SCORE in supporting rural business funding. She says, "With the support and services they provide, SCORE is helping our USDA RD dollars go further and ultimately creating success stories for the community as a whole."

By providing rural small businesses with access to expertise, resources, and support, SCORE is helping these businesses overcome challenges and achieve greater growth opportunities. This not only benefits individual entrepreneurs but also contributes to the economic development of rural communities as a whole.

Entrepreneurs in rural areas can request a mentor today by visiting With SCORE's help, they can receive the necessary guidance to reach their full potential and contribute to the growth of their communities.
Filed Under: Business

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