Over the years, many women-owned and operated small businesses had to fight to be recognized and respected in the world of business. Countless women business owners face significant obstacles in starting and financing their businesses.
If you’re looking to launch or want to grow an existing business, you don’t have to do it alone. Today many of the women who’ve made a name for themselves are creating programs, networks, and platforms designed to encourage the growth of female business ownership.
Here are nine fantastic resources that can help guide and aid women business owners.
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Resources for Women Business Owners
1. Female Founders Fund
Female Founder Fund is a venture fund that invests exclusively in female-founded companies.
Female Founders Fund was created in 2014 with a focus on helping women “build the companies of tomorrow.”
They invest in e-commerce, media, marketplaces, advertising, and web-enabled services/products. The Female Founder Fund strongly believes in investing in top-performing companies as well as talented leaders who can build resilient companies for the future.
2. Ladies Who Launch
Ladies Who Launch (LWL) was created out of the demand for community, education, and inspiration by women entrepreneurs. LWL’s mission is to “celebrate, elevate and empower a global community of women and non-binary small business owners and entrepreneurs to grow and sustain the businesses of their dreams.”
Ladies Who Launch does this by providing access to educational resources, networking opportunities, and prospective capital funds. LWL connects women entrepreneurs through digital platforms such as newsletters and online academies, along with in-person networking events.
3. Women’s Venture Fund
The Women’s Venture Fund (WVF) is a nonprofit organization that was created to advise and empower women in business. They strive to help women establish and grow successful businesses in urban communities through the help of funding, entrepreneurial training, news coverage, and professional development programs.
Their mission is to “turn our client’s passions and creativity into profitable and sustainable businesses that can help drive the economy.”
4. National Association of Women Business Owners
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is a dues-based organization with chapters around the country that represents women entrepreneurs across all industries. NAWBO can be used as a one-stop resource for women business owners to propel themselves in the economic and political sectors.
The organization hosts in-person and online events that offer education, inspiration, support, and networking opportunities.
5. Center for Women & Enterprise
The Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) was founded as a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women-owned businesses get off the ground. The CWE works with women of all backgrounds and races to help them achieve their dreams.
The CWE has a mission of empowerment to help inspire women business owners to launch and grow their companies by offering access to business tools and resources they need to succeed through education, training, technical assistance, and microloans.
6. International Association of Women
The International Association of Women (IAW) is a global support network that provides educational resources, professional development, and collaboration opportunities for women entrepreneurs. This online community offers in-person support with the help of more than 40 local chapters around the world.
Members can expect benefits such as mentorship, business services, career portals, networking events, and more.
7. Association of Women’s Business Centers
The Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) is a national non-profit organization that works to help create entrepreneurial opportunities for women-owned businesses. They support and sustain a network of over 100 Women’s Business Centers (WBC).
Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) are “a public-private partnership between the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and non-profit entrepreneurial development organizations across the country. WBCs serve clients that are economically and socially disadvantaged.”
8. Office of Women’s Business Ownership
The Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO), which is part of the Small Business Administration (SBA), helps empower women business owners through advocacy programs such as business counseling that are coordinated through SBA district offices.
The Office of Women’s Business Ownership also oversees more than 100 Women’s Business Centers that provide free/low-cost guidance and assistance to women-owned businesses around the country.
9. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women-owned businesses flourish. WBNEC was founded in 1997 to develop a standard for women-owned business certification and has since grown to provide a world-class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country.
The WBENC is on a mission to help strengthen economic growth through educational development, certification, and partnerships to create new opportunities for women-owned businesses.