Jamestown native gets help from SCOREDegrees in psychology and criminal justice didn’t make her an expert on running the family business, but after the help of some retired professionals, her business seeks to expand nationally. Eva Allen, who manages Entrees Dinners in Fargo, graduated from Jamestown High School and Jamestown College. She started the business about 18 months ago along with her two sisters, Ida and Rhea, and her father, Greg, who still lives in Jamestown.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
Degrees in psychology and criminal justice didn’t make her an expert on running the family business, but after the help of some retired professionals, her business seeks to expand nationally.
Eva Allen, who manages Entrees Dinners in Fargo, graduated from Jamestown High School and Jamestown College. She started the business about 18 months ago along with her two sisters, Ida and Rhea, and her father, Greg, who still lives in Jamestown.
Her father has a business background, she said, but like her, Eva’s two sisters do not. For help starting Entrees Dinners, the family sought the advice of volunteers at SCORE, a small business consulting group that consists of retired or semi-retired business professionals who volunteer to offer advice, feedback and information for small business owners and entrepreneurs at little to no cost, said Jim Boyd, who is helping organize a SCORE chapter in Jamestown.
“It isn’t like they (small business owners and entrepreneurs) have to spend oodles of money to find out,” Boyd said.
Enhancing current businesses and creating new ones foster economic development, Boyd said, so creating a SCORE chapter is good for Jamestown. The organization has nearly 400 chapters nationally and more than 10,000 volunteers, according to Alan Haut of the Small Business Administration in Fargo.
SCORE volunteers help with all aspects of business, Boyd said, like marketing, human resources and setting up a business plan when applying for a loan.
“You really have a tough time getting support for something that has risk written all over it,” Boyd said.
Unlike franchises, Eva said, small businesses like Entrees Dinners, which sells ready-to-bake prepackaged meals, have kinks to work out.
“(My two sisters and I) didn’t really know what we were getting into,” Eva said.
SCORE volunteers helped, Eva said.
Small businesses have a small survival percentage, said Bill Klaudt, SCORE member and former chairman of the Business Administration Department at Jamestown College. SCORE provides an inexpensive resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them start up and maintain their businesses.
“That’s just another growth factor for Jamestown,” Klaudt said.
Growing and maintaining businesses is part of Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp.’s strategic plan, Boyd said. Boyd is also the JSDC Board’s vice president.
Although the intent of SCORE is to help businesses, the advice from SCORE members is not guaranteed to work, Boyd said, nor is it binding. Also, the consultations are confidential, Boyd said, so no one is going to steal ideas or publicize who is having financial trouble.
“It’s not a magic pill here,” he said.
Jamestown is expected to open a branch this month with the help of Fargo’s chapter.
“Right now, we have a pretty good nucleus of folks to start our own office here,” Boyd said, saying about 12 community members have applied for SCORE membership.
“A lot of us just retired recently. We still got some energy left,” Boyd said of the applicants.
For more information on SCORE, visit the organization’s Web site at www. score.org.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com