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Definition: Educational and/or professional development support provided by experienced colleagues

Mentors can be valuable sources of information at any stage of your company's growth. Mentors can often give you a fresh perspective on problems or challenges because they're not personally involved with your business like other advisors, including attorneys, accountants and friends. For this reason, it's important to find not only a mentor who has experience and knowledge, but also someone you can trust and feel at ease with.

To get matched with a mentor, your first step might be to contact your local SCORE chapter. If there's not a chapter near you, no problem. SCORE offers free e-mail counseling provided by 1,200 volunteers with a 48-hour or less turnaround time for quick questions.

Another mentor resource is offered by the Office of Women's Business Ownership. Its Women's Network for Entrepreneurial Training Mentoring Program matches protégés with experienced women mentors. For more information, contact the Office of Women's Business Ownership.

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