October 7, 2005

SCORE and MCI Hook Up To Present Free, Tech Workshop Designed to Spur Growth of Diverse Small Business Community

Recognizing that technology is critical to small business growth, SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business, and leading global communications provider MCI announced that they are joining together to present a no-cost, first-of-its-kind technology workshop designed especially for California’s minority, disabled and women-owned businesses.

The workshop, entitled “Technology To Grow Your Small Business,” will be held on October 19 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Handlery Hotel & Resort in Mission Valley. The goal of the workshop, according to program moderator and SCORE District Director Paul Hollenbach, is to increase small business owners’ understanding and use of technology in their businesses and to explore trends and products that can help them build a competitive edge.

The program will feature workshops on small business technology use, including trends, strategies and implications for growth; technology product demonstrations related to computer-based phone systems, network security, data recovery and business continuity protection; and vendor and supplier diversity programs for small businesses.

In addition, there will be a question and answer session on small business and supplier diversity programs featuring representatives from the San Diego County Water Authority, the Navy’s SPAWAR Systems Center, San Diego Supplier Diversity Council, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center PTAC.

The program concludes with a business roundtable discussion involving representatives from some of San Diego’s preeminent technology leaders and consultants, including Qualcomm, Booz Allen Hamilton and the U.S. Navy. Besides offering stimulating discussion, these representatives may be able to potentially match the business services offered by workshop attendees with their own needs, a rare networking opportunity that could lead to the development of productive strategic partnerships.

Funded through a grant, it is the first of many future technology workshops that will be presented by MCI that are designed specifically for small businesses.

“The funding objective of this grant is to provide women, disabled, minority and veteran-owned businesses with a half-day workshop that assists them with an overall understanding of the key technology trends and tools that can support small business growth,” Hollenbach explained. “It will also illustrate the role technology can play in conducting business with larger corporations through supplier diversity programs.”

According to Hollenbach, MCI chose the San Diego SCORE chapter to host this initial program because it is recognized as the premier chapter in the nation, is located in a technology hotbed, and has earned a strong reputation for offering educational workshops featuring innovative topics.

Due to a generous donation by MCI, there is no cost to attend, however participants must register in advance by visiting online at www.score-sandiego.org or by calling (619) 557-7272. There will be no on-site registration the day of the workshop.

While specifically designed for women, minority, veteran and disabled-owned businesses, all small business owners are welcome. The first 125 participants who register will receive a free flash data storage memory stick courtesy of MCI. A continental breakfast, networking luncheon and workshop materials will also be provided.

The Handlery Hotel is located at 950 Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley. For additional information, please call the SCORE San Diego chapter at (619) 557-7272.

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