More women than ever before are embracing the entrepreneurial lifestyle and launching their own business.
In fact, an American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report found that women continue to launch companies at a rate exceeding the national average.
As of 2011, there are more than 8.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. Women-owned businesses account for 29 percent of all enterprises, employing nearly 7.7 people and generating approximately 41.3 trillion in revenue.
As a mom entrepreneur, you know that running your own business is an exhilarating, inspiring, and rewarding process – yet full of challenges. Fortunately, there’s a comprehensive collection of government, member-based, and nonprofit resources dedicated to helping women-owned businesses thrive.
Here are seven rockin’ resources for women entrepreneurs:
1. Women’s Business Center:
In 1988, the Small Business Association (SBA) established the Women’s Business Center Program to better help women overcome continuing barriers to success. The SBA has a number of loan programs to help women access the credit and capital they need. In fiscal year 2009, the SBA backed nearly 10,000 loans worth about $2 billion to women entrepreneurs.
The SBA’s Women’s Business Center Program comprises a national network of WBCs providing business training, counseling and other resources to help women start and grow successful businesses. Today there are Women’s Business Centers in almost every state. Click here to find resources for your state.
2. National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO):
A membership organization, NAWBO provides resources and networking opportunities to help women entrepreneurs build their business. Membership includes discounts on products and services. There’s also a free newsletter that provides the latest news and relevant information.
3. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC):
WBENC certifies businesses that are owned, controlled, and operated by women in the U.S. It serves as an advocate for women-owned businesses to be suppliers to corporations in the U.S. and functions as a liaison between women-owned businesses and those corporations that have supplier diversity programs.
4. Women’s Venture Fund:
This nonprofit organization offers training, small business loans, and a network of business advisors to women of diverse backgrounds in order to establish thriving businesses in urban communities.
5. Make Mine a Million $ Business:
This program is an initiative of Count Me In For Women’s Economic Independence, a nonprofit organization geared toward helping women-owned businesses pass the million-dollar mark. They provide webinars, meetups, expert advising, and other web tools. They also offer several business awards and micro loan opportunities.
6. Women in Technology International (WITI):
Are you involved in technology? WITI helps women advance in all sectors of technology, by providing access to resources like networking opportunities, national conferences, regional events, small business programs, and more.
7. Women 2.0:
Designed to grow the number of female founders of technology startups, Women 2.0 empowers female entrepreneurs with networking, support, knowledge, and other resources. PITCH is their annual startup competition for early-state technology companies.
Want more great resources?
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