Whether you are a woman who is thinking about embracing the entrepreneurial dream, or if you own an existing business, finding resources and like-minded women business owners can be challenging. The business landscape has a number of pitfalls, and women entrepreneurs have to overcome a different set of obstacles in addition to the ones that already exist. We have put together a list of resources for women entrepreneurs where they can meet other strong women business owners, help each other, and learn from their experiences.
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has been in existence for over 40 years, and lends their experience to help women launch and run successful businesses. NAWBO has local chapters all over the United States, so women entrepreneurs can network, find support, and relate success stories. NAWBO is also involved with government agencies to advocate for the causes and needs that are relevant to women entrepreneurs across all industries.
SBA Women’s Business Center
The SBA does much more than just set the guidelines for lenders of small business loans. The SBA is also an educational resource for entrepreneurs. The SBA Women’s Business Center connects women entrepreneurs with best practices, mentors, and so much more to ensure long-term success. The SBA Women’s Business Center has over 100 locations throughout the United States, and their mission is to uplift existing and emerging women entrepreneurs, and to create a level playing field for a more diverse marketplace.
The National Women’s Business Council works with Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Small Business Administration to advance and resolve economic issues that directly impact women business owners. The NWBC is constantly gathering data about women-owned businesses and provides advice to government agencies on how best to support women entrepreneurs.
SCORE is part of the Small Business Administration. While SCORE does not focus solely on women entrepreneurs, their mission is one of diversity – helping minority groups, those with disabilities, and women launch and grow businesses spanning all industries. SCORE is comprised of mentors and volunteers, where everyone helps one another. Many women business owners join SCORE as a networking opportunity, but also because they realize no single person has all the answers. By pooling experiences and successes, SCORE allows women entrepreneurs to make connections and move everyone forward in an arena where most people feel that they have to fend for themselves.
The organizations above are not the only options. If you are a woman business owner, see what options are available in your area. If there aren’t any, reach out to one of the national organizations and find out how you can participate and start a chapter to support other rising women entrepreneurs.