Entrepreneurship is a journey that requires hard work and dedication. But it doesn't have to be a lonely one. Joining or starting a business networking group can be a great way to get the support, advice, and resources you need to succeed. In this article, we'll explore the different types of networking groups available for entrepreneurs, as well as the online resources that can help you find the right one for you.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the government organization that guarantees affordable business loans for small businesses. But did you know that they also provide invaluable resources for entrepreneurs? SBA regional and district offices offer a variety of resources and business advice, from meeting other business owners to learning about small business financing and taking classes. It's a great starting point for any entrepreneur looking to get connected. Social media sites for entrepreneurs are also great places to meet and interact with other business owners. Chief is one such platform that offers peer support in the form of community groups and member meetings, masterclasses, and exclusive access to the ideas of business leaders and cultural icons. For those looking for more specialized networking groups, there are plenty of small business associations that can provide you with the answers, advice, and tools you need to grow your business.
Here are 18 essential small business associations every entrepreneur should consider joining:
- Minority Chamber of Commerce: A non-profit organization that helps minority-owned small business owners educate themselves on business management skills, network with like-minded professionals, and connect with specialized vendors.
- OutBuro: A global professional network with more than 47,000 members that fosters a community that seeks to connect and expand business knowledge, with a special emphasis on LGBTQ companies and leadership.
- Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE): Fights for the rights of small business owners and provides a forum for small business owners to connect and learn from each other.
- Small Business Network by Entrepreneurs HQ: A group of more than 240,000 members, this network is designed for entrepreneurs, founders, and small business owners to find possible financial support and share tips on web design, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and other marketing strategies.
- SCORE: No matter what type of small business you run, SCORE could be the small business association that takes you to the next level of success.
- eWomenNetwork: If your main goal in joining a small business association is networking, eWomenNetwork is a great resource for networking with women entrepreneurs.
- National Association of Veteran-Owned Businesses: Veteran small business owners should add this association to their list of national small business associations worth joining.
- Rotary Club: If you value using your business to do good in your community, you can find a like-minded network in the local section of your Rotary club.
- Office of Business Development for Veterans: The place to go for veteran small business owners to find a variety of useful resources that can help grow their business.