By Rieva Lesonsky
Women business owners can achieve so much more when we support each other. If you’re a woman entrepreneur, check out these 15 websites for women business owners that can help you start or grow your business:
American Business Women’s Association
This organization for business and professional women (including both small business owners and corporate employees) provides opportunities for members to grow personally and professionally. The more than 450 chapters nationwide hold monthly networking meetings to share ideas and support. The AWBA also holds a National Women’s Leadership Conference annually.
Committee of 200
C200 is an international organization for a select group of the most powerful women who own and run companies. Its C200 Foundation works to foster, celebrate, and advance women’s leadership in business, and also provides targeted outreach and support to future leaders with the goal of increasing the number of women in leadership roles.
Ellevate Network is a global organization enabling women in business to elevate each other. Members, including both professional women and women entrepreneurs, gain inspiration, education, and more.
This spinoff of the Forbes website shares information, resources, and ideas to help professional and executive women succeed.
The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) provides education, networking, and public advocacy to help its members achieve financial security and business success. Members include women executives, business owners, entrepreneurs, and allies committed to the advancement of women in the workplace.
National Women’s Business Council
The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a nonpartisan federal advisory council that serves as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the president, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The NWBC works to promote economic issues that matter to women business owners and to encourage bold initiatives that support women-owned businesses throughout their journey, from startup to success.
For more than 40 years, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has been working to help women business owners achieve economic, social, and political power. With 10 million-plus members, NAWBO is one of the best known organizations for women in business, offering a wide range of resources, opportunities, and events.
The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) manages a network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) across the United States and its territories. The WBCs provide management training and technical assistance to help female entrepreneurs—especially those who are economically or socially disadvantaged—start and grow their own businesses.
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Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government. Its goal is to assist and protect small businesses, strengthen the U.S. economy, and preserve the free enterprise system. The SBA has an extensive network of field offices as well as partnerships with public and private organizations to deliver its services.
The Office of Small Business Development Centers gives both current and prospective small business owners counseling, advice, and services, often for little or no cost. Small business owners can access these “one-stop shops” to get information, guidance, or education. Every state has at least one SBDC.
SCORE is one of the best resources I know for any business owner. SCORE mentors are business experts who’ve been in the trenches of entrepreneurship. They can provide the business consulting and advice you need to get to the next level—and it’s free.
Visit the Women in Business section of my company’s blog, SmallBizDaily, to find articles for, by, and about women entrepreneurs, plus resources to help you start and grow your business.
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the nation’s largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women. WBENC partners with 14 regional partner organizations to certify women-owned businesses throughout the country. The organization also provides members with networking and other opportunities to market to government and corporate clients that want to do business with women-owned companies.
Women Impacting Public Policy
Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is a national nonpartisan organization that advocates on behalf of women entrepreneurs. Its goal is to create economic opportunities for women and impact public policy. After surveying its members about their biggest concerns, WIPP relays these concerns to Congress. The group provides members with benefits such as advocacy training, assistance getting federal contracts, educational opportunities, and access to events.
The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) is a nonprofit membership organization for women who are presidents of multimillion-dollar businesses. WPO members meet once a month to participate in advisory groups that help them grow their businesses, participate in advisory groups, and take their businesses to the next level.
(Disclosure: SCORE and the SBDC LA-area Network are clients of my company.)
I am CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Google+ and Twitter @Rieva, and visit my website SmallBizDaily.com to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for my free TrendCast reports. Read all of Rieva Lesonsky’s articles.
This article was originally published on AllBusiness.com.
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