In honor and celebration of the occasion, the Women Grow Business column is starting our master collection of resources for Women In Business today.
To begin, it seems best to start out with the basics – what are the primary resources that exist for women business owners? If you are just starting out and have no network, who do you turn to for help?
Where can you get basic questions answered inexpensively or for free?
This list is made up of resources that can help the most when you’re first starting your business, but will still be relevant as your business matures.
Below we’ll list the five we selected for today’s edition, how they can help you, and how you can offer suggestions to this category of the directory of resources we’re creating.
National Association for Female Executives (NAFE)
NAFE has been around since 1972, serving female business executives – including entrepreneurs – there’s a special news section on their site just for small business owners.
As they explain on their site:
The National Association for Female Executives, one of the country’s largest associations for women professionals and business owners, provides resources – through education, networking, and public advocacy- to empower its members to achieve both career and personal success.
In addition to networking opportunities, being a member of NAFE may bring you the opportunity to be recognized as a leader. Every year, NAFE gives out Women of Excellence Awards, and this December will also celebrate Top Companies for Executive Women.
Members enjoy additional benefits such as the ability to both post job listings and browse them, on their website.
National Association of Women Business Owners – (NAWBO)
On the “vision and mission” page of their website NAWBO says it “propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide.” If you want to meet the other successful business owners in your area, they’re a great first stop.
Their nationwide organization has local chapters throughout the United States that meet regularly.
In addition to in person networking, a national business conference and regional leadership summits, they also have an online information resource center, and a non-profit educational resource center called the Institute for Entrepreneurial Development.
SBA’s Office of Women Business Ownership
Of all the organizations you can reach out to on and offline for help starting and growing your business, you’re likely most familiar with the Small Business Administration (SBA). Many people aren’t aware how extensive their resources for women business owners are.
Some of the help they offer:
An online course to help women business owners with government contracting basics
You can find more resources for women business owners on their website.
No doubt you’ve heard of SCORE’s extensive resources for small business owners. And though their online section for women entrepreneurs looks sparse at first glance, the resources they have available are anything but that.
For example, at the the moment those first four links on the page lead to free workshops you can take online, on subjects like productivity, and options for starting your business. In addition, you can request that the leaders of the courses mentor you right from the web page.
This is in addition to SCORE’s Mentoring program, which gives you a choice between meeting face to face or finding an email mentor.
Already a business expert? Volunteer to share your knowledge.
SCORE representatives are available to talk to at many of Web.com’s Live Small Business Forums – check to see when they’ll be in your area next and you can kill two birds with one stone by getting both business and marketing help for your company on the same day.
US Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC)
Founded in 2001, the USWCC seeks to “empower women to learn and plan for themselves and their financial future”.
a Women Owned Small Business Supplier Directory for government contractors,
a publication called the W-Economist, providing news from a women’s economic perspective
Did we forget a resource? Reply in the comments to add your favorite one to our list. Signup is easy and free.
Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com