22 Top Resources for Women Business Owners BY MELINDA EMERSON

October is National Women in Business Month, and it’s a good time to look at the impact women business owners are having in the US economy. In this blog post, I will share some statistics, along with some great resources for women business owners who want to start a new business or grow an existing one.

Women-Owned Businesses Are on the Rise

According to the 9th Annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, released by American Express, over the past year, women started an average of 1,817 new businesses per day in the US. That represents 42 percent of nearly 13 million businesses overall. These businesses have 9.4 million employees and generate $1.9 trillion in revenue. Women of color account for 89 percent (1,625) of the new businesses opened every day over the past year. In fact, 50 percent of all women-owned firms are owned by African-American women. 

Side hustling is also on the rise. Over the last five years, the number of women side-hustlers has grown at a rate that is nearly twice as fast as the overall growth in female entrepreneurship. Minority women are responsible for a large portion of the growth of side-hustling among women-owned businesses. 

Even though women of color are starting more businesses than ever before, not everyone is making big money. 1.7 percent of women business gross over 1 million in revenue. However, 88 percent of women are not grossing over $100K, and for African Americans, the average business generates $66K, which has gone slightly down over the last 5 years.

22 Resources for Women Business Owners

Women-Owned Businesses Are on the Rise

Given these stats, there is a lot of work to do to grow those revenues. I wanted to make sure every woman entrepreneur has what she needs to run her dream business. Here are the top 22 organizations and websites that provide resources for women business owners, including advice, advocacy, mentorship, funding support, and business connections, all of which are critical to long-term success.

1. AllBusiness.com

This site provides business information and resources for small businesses—those companies with fewer than 500 employees. The company also conducts research to measure the health and direction of the small business sector.

2. Black & Brown Founders

Black & Brown Founders provides community, education, and access to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, allowing them to launch and build tech businesses with modest resources.

3. ChallengeHer

ChallengeHER is a program sponsored by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) to share growth opportunities in government contracting with women-owned small businesses. The program is free for all registrants as part of a national initiative designed to promote the WOSB Federal Contract Program, to bring more women-owned firms into the federal government’s supply chain. Their next event is coming to Washington, D.C. on October 24, 2019.

4. Ellevate Network

Ellevate Network is a global organization enabling women in business to elevate each other. Members include both corporate women and women entrepreneurs.  

5. Essence

Essence is a monthly magazine for African-American women between the ages of 18 and 49. First published in 1970, it is one of the few American magazines that focus on reaching an audience of black women. They regularly publish finance and business content to help side-hustlers and full-time business owners.

6. Export.Gov

The government wants to help you take your business global. Developed by international trade experts and economists, Export.gov provides trusted market intelligence, practical advice, and business tools to help U.S. companies expand in global markets.

7. Female Founders Alliance (FFA)

FFA is an online community of female and non-binary founders of small businesses. They also run Ready Set Raise an industry-agnostic national startup accelerator that is a 6-week intensive training and funding program. 

8. ForbesWoman

This spinoff of the Forbes website shares information, resources, and ideas to help professional and executive women succeed.

9. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that promotes growth and competitiveness of the United States’ minority-owned businesses, including Hispanic and Latino American, Asian Pacific American, African American, and Native American businesses. 

10. NAFE

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.

11. National Minority Supplier Development Council

The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) offers a certification program to create opportunities for business owners of color to connect to the hundreds of corporate members who wish to build relationships with trusted minority businesses. They also build MBE capacity through programs and workshops at their regional and national conferences.

12. 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.

13. NAWBO

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) works to help women business owners achieve economic, social, and political power. With 12,000 members, NAWBO is one of the best-known membership organizations for women in business. With the NAWBO Institute, women can access a virtual online learning platform to develop key skills and learn strategies to help take their business to next level.

14. Pipeline Angels

This is a national initiative that trains women to develop into angel entrepreneurs. It does this through education, mentoring programs, and practice. In addition, the program allows women from all over the country to present their business ideas in its Pitch Summits, with the winner having a chance to secure capital for their business ideas.

15. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government. Its goal is to assist and protect small businesses and strengthen the US economy. The SBA has an extensive network of field offices that provide training, federal contract assistance, business certifications, and loan guarantees. 

16. SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership

This is an office within the SBA that manages over 100 Women’s Business Centers that work to help women small business owners. WBCs provide entrepreneurs with in-depth training and counseling and various loan products.

17. SBDCs

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.

18. SCORE

SCORE is one of the best resources to find a mentor for your small business. SCORE mentors are business experts who’ve been in the trenches of corporate America and entrepreneurship. They provide free business consulting online or in person. They also have a huge website with tons of free resources.

19. Succeedasyourownboss.com

With decades of experience, I know how difficult (yet incredibly rewarding!) it can be to start and grow a business. Every week I share my advice with you in blog posts, #SmallBizChat interviews on Twitter and Facebook, and on my new #SmallBizChat Podcast.

20. WBENC

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is a certify agency for women businesses. WBENC provides members with networking and other opportunities to market to government and corporations that want to do business with women-owned companies.

21. Women Impacting Public Policy

Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is a national, nonpartisan organization that advocates on behalf of women entrepreneurs. WIPP lobbies Congress to create economic opportunities for women and impact public policy. They also provide benefits such as advocacy training, assistance getting federal contracts, and business workshops.

22. WPO

The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) is a nonprofit membership organization for women who are presidents of million-dollar businesses. WPO members participate in advisory groups monthly that help them grow their businesses and partners to take their businesses to the next level.

Do you know of any other organizations that offer resources for women business owners? Let me what else should be on this list. Women business owners ROCK!Feel free to share…

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FILED UNDER: STARTING A SMALL BUSINESSWOMEN IN BUSINESSTAGGED WITH: BEST SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITESBUSINESS RESOURCESFEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIPNATIONAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS MONTHRESOURCESSMALL BUSINESS RESOURCESWOMAN ENTREPRENEURWOMENWOMEN BUSINESS OWNERSWOMEN-OWNED BUSINESS

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About Melinda Emerson

Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America’s leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also bestseller author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. Her latest ebook, How To Become a Social Media Ninja; 101 Ways to Dominate Your Competition Online was released in 2012.

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