Wilkes University


Allan P. Kirby Center For Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University Announces Partnership With SCORE

Businesses Affiliated With Kirby Center To Receive Mentoring From SCORE Experts


Wilkes University’s Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship has announced a partnership with SCORE Inc. to provide mentoring to the businesses supported by the center.  The partnership was announced at a mentor breakfast on Dec. 9 at the University.  The breakfast celebrated the importance of mentoring in encouraging entrepreneurs in developing their businesses.

Rodney S. Ridley Sr., Kirby Center director and distinguished professor, said the SCORE partnership is integral to the center’s mission to encourage Wilkes students, faculty and staff to launch new businesses and to foster the entrepreneurial climate in northeast Pennsylvania. Since Ridley became director of the Kirby Center in July 2014, the number of new ventures being developed under its programs has grown from nine to more than 30.

“Our partnership with SCORE is vital in serving our businesses,” Ridley said. “The growth in the number of businesses we are serving has outpaced the number of mentors and the fields of expertise already affiliated with the Kirby Center. With SCORE, our business owners have access to mentors in its regional office and, if necessary, also can tap the more than 12,000 volunteers in SCORE’s national network.”

SCORE is America’s premier source of free and confidential small business mentoring and advice. The nonprofit association, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, draws on both working and retired business professionals to assist nearly half a million entrepreneurs annually with starting and growing their businesses. SCORE is a resource partner of the Small Business Administration.

Headquartered in Herndon, Va., SCORE has 330 chapters in the United States. Counseling is offered in many business-related areas, including accounting, marketing, sales and other areas of expertise. SCORE’s Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter, based in Wilkes-Barre, serves businesses in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike and Wyoming counties.

Cal Leighton, chairman of the northeast Pennsylvania Chapter of SCORE, praised the new partnership with Wilkes.

“NEPA SCORE is proud and excited to commence a working partnership to provide business counseling to the clients of the Alan P Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University,” Leighton said. “ It’s a win-win for everybody involved: the entrepreneur community, the northeast Pennsylvania economy and our SCORE mentors.”

Leighton was joined at the Dec. 9 announcement by Gerard Glenn, immediate past chair of the national board of SCORE, who delivered remarks. NEPA SCORE’s vice chairman William Evans and Hugh McMaster, immediate past district director for SCORE in eastern Pennsylvania also spoke.

Ridley said that the Kirby Center’s existing network of business mentors will benefit from the training that SCORE offers to individuals counseling entrepreneurs. By training all mentors using SCORE’s methods, businesses being developed under the Kirby Center’s umbrella will receive quality coaching and advice.