MassMutual Joins With SCORE To Help Grow 1 Million Businesses by 2017

Offers e-guide that helps businesses obtain funding through bank loans

Sep 16, 2011, 09:00 ET from MassMutual

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing that small businesses have led the U.S. out of nearly every recession, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) announces a partnership with SCORE® to drive new small businesses and create jobs needed for the economic recovery. 

SCORE, an organization founded in 1964 that provides small business mentoring and workshops to hundreds of thousands of new and growing small businesses across the country, recently welcomed MassMutual as a national corporate sponsor to help the non-profit reach its goal of supporting the growth of 1 million small businesses by 2017.

As part of that support, MassMutual will provide an e-guide for SCORE's clients and mentors with information explaining an alternative source of collateral that can be obtained for business loans. In the past, when lenders required life insurance as collateral, the loan process could take weeks waiting for the policy to be obtained. The program expedites the application process of a life insurance policy that not only meets the business owner's borrowing terms, but also will help protect the owner and business.

"MassMutual has been supporting small businesses for years, as our financial services professionals and specially trained Certified Family Business Specialists have been helping entrepreneurs with business valuation, continuation and succession planning," said John Chandler, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, MassMutual. "Our sponsorship of SCORE and its more than 13,000 volunteers is a natural fit and we greatly admire the organization's very ambitions goal of launching a million small businesses over the next six years."

"In 2009, our research indicated that we've helped over 68,000 new businesses get started, saved 15,000 existing jobs and created over 30,000 jobs," said W. Kenneth Yancey, SCORE CEO. "And we will continue to run on all eight cylinders until we have helped over 1 million small businesses succeed by 2017," he said. "MassMutual's corporate sponsorship will help us leverage their expertise and focus by filtering down education and information through our volunteers to our clients."

"Without our volunteers, we'd be nothing"

Yancey credits SCORE's network of volunteer mentors with the success indicated in the 2009 research study. Financial professional, David Cole, with MassMutual's South Carolina Agency, knows full well the support that SCORE volunteers provide to small businesses. He has been a volunteer mentor for the past two years with one of SCORE's 364 chapters in South Carolina. One time per month for a four hour shift, Cole fields questions from entrepreneurs about opening new businesses and making existing businesses more profitable.

"For example, I may help a restaurant owner to prepare top-notch business, sales and marketing plans to present to a bank when applying for start-up funding," Cole explained.

"A few weeks ago, two women who are opening a dog grooming business on John's Island [off the coast of South Carolina] were looking for feedback on a marketing plan, but all of their ideas were too macro," he said. "They wanted to take out ads in a newspaper with a much broader distribution than John's Island, but any of the efforts that left John's Island were a waste of money. I suggested they put together some after-hours socials and invite area veterinarians, with a few give-aways, spending their limited ad dollars more wisely."

One of the ways that SCORE hopes to succeed in its ambitious goal is to double the number of trained volunteers over the next three years, adding more business experts like David Cole to keep the momentum going. Yancey points out that more volunteers are especially needed in rural areas and with expertise in new technologies. For more information about volunteering for SCORE, visit score.org/volunteer.html. For more news and information about MassMutual, visit massmutual.com or "like" the company on Facebook at facebook.com/massmutual.

About MassMutual

Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders every year since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company's strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.

For more information, visit www.massmutual.com or "Like" MassMutual on Facebook.

CONTACT:
Karen Lavariere-Sanchez
413.744.7660
klavarieresanchez@massmutual.com

SOURCE MassMutual



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