Facing constant challenges comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur. But if you’re a woman in business, you likely come across obstacles that your male counterparts don’t necessarily have to deal with, from raising VC funds to getting a small-business loan.
So where can you find sage advice that specifically addresses these challenges? To save you from sifting through dozens of open browser tabs for hours, we did the research for you. Whether you’re looking for info on financing your small business, have questions about your business development, or just want someone to bounce ideas off, there are resources at your fingertips.
SBA Women’s Business Centers
The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) helps small businesses thrive through counseling and better access to both contracts and financing, and some of its resources are tailored to female entrepreneurs. The SBA’s women’s business centers assist budding and seasoned entrepreneurs who are looking to start or grow their businesses. The SBA offers free or low-cost entrepreneurship training and counseling, along with networking sessions that can connect you to mentors, and even business financing opportunities. There are nearly 100 locations around the United States — find your local center here.
The National Association of Women Business Owners
Another resource provided by the SBA is the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). Its mission is to help women entrepreneurs in all stages of business development build alliances and transform public policy and business culture. With more than 5,000 members nationwide and 60 chapters, NAWBO is a great place to meet like-minded women entrepreneurs.
NAWBO can also be a great source of info on business finances through its online publication and educational resources, as well as national and local events. Members are often given the chance to speak at these events, opening doors for those looking to build their personal brand. (Check out the National Women’s Business Conference, happening in September.) Mentoring is also available — an excellent opportunity for young or aspiring entrepreneurs.
Although many of its resources are available to the public, NAWBO is a dues-based organization — so if you want to join, sign up online. Dues vary based on your membership level and chapter. For example, at NAWBO Louisville, there is a $100 initiation fee, with monthly dues starting at $19.95.