The number of female small business owners in the US has risen dramatically in the past decade, and continues to grow! This is great news for all the women who have hoped to venture out on their own, who have recently formed a new business, and even women who own established small business. The prevalence of female-owned businesses means more opportunities for women to network, develop professionally, and realize their aspirations.
As a hopeful woman entrepreneur, you may be wondering where to find the right resources to support your developing business idea. Connecting to resources and capital is essential to getting your business off the ground. Below are 7 organizations that provide resources for small businesses that include everything from venture capital to mentorship to business development classes. Nearly all of the organizations on the list are dedicated to helping women in small business. Take a look!
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
The resource center provides information about from funding to networking and certification. Through annual award luncheons and regional leadership summits, NAWBO recognizes exemplary businesswomen and leaders.
SCORE is a nonprofit dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground. Though free business counseling, affordable workshops, and mentoring, the organization teaches entrepreneurs about small business ownership and helps them achieve their business goals.
United States Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC)
The USWCC, which is not backed by politicians or corporations but instead by members, provides a platform for women to learn and plan for themselves and their financial futures. They offer women in business new strategies, innovation, opportunities, influence, and solutions in support of a women-led economy.
Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC)
Created specifically for women in business, the WBDC is backed by the Small Business Association (SBA) and offers women business owners coaching, training, and professional development to help them reach their business and financial goals. Members receive personalized counseling on a variety of topics and access to roundtable dialogues with state leaders and congress members.
Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)
Billing as the “oldest, largest, and most comprehensive women’s business assistance center in the United States,” this non-profit assists startups and established small businesses through courses, conferences, and programs covering all areas of business from finance to marketing and business development.
WomensNet is the virtual home of The Amber Grant Foundation, which gives grants to women entrepreneurs. For a $7 fee, any aspiring female small business owner can enter a monthly proposal for a small business grant. The website asks women who pitch their business ideas to share their passion and mission and asks whether applicants are open to angel investors and other resources, as well. Winners are announced publicly on the website, allowing other applicants to see what types of women-owned businesses are being funded and network with other aspiring business owners.
Springboard Enterprises’ website contains a learning center that serves as a virtual boot-camp that teaches women entrepreneurs the building blocks of successful business. The organization was launched in the year 2000 and serves as a platform for women to learn about angel investors, venture capital, how to pitch to investors, and sustainable profitability.
This is just the tip of the iceberg! There are hundreds of organizations out there that were created to support female entrepreneurs just like you. What resources have been the most helpful for you? What websites would you add to this list that could help other aspiring women business owners?