Resources Geared Toward Advancing Women Entrepreneurs
Starting a business can be difficult for any entrepreneur, but women face unique challenges that may hold them back from achieving their potential. From a lack of female role models in the startup space to having trouble gaining access to capital, many women struggle to find their way as an entrepreneur.
The good news is that even though the startup world remains a male-dominated space, more and more females are developing successful businesses every year. With the right amount of support and resources, women entrepreneurs can set themselves up for success in order to start new business ventures that continue to grow and thrive.
Though the resource list below is by no means comprehensive, it does offer a great place to start. These resources are geared toward helping women entrepreneurs advance in the business world:
Training Programs and Informational Resources
Though all successful businesses start with a great idea, many female entrepreneurs who are first-time business owners may not have a formal business education or the training they need on the fundamentals of business. Basic business training and education are an important part of developing a successful company, and here are some training programs that are designed for women entrepreneurs who need to learn the ropes:
- The U.S. Small Business Administration provides access to a range of business resources for women, including information on how to start a business, find a mentor, choose a business structure, write a business plan, and choose a location. The organization also provides a range of information and training on business law, financials, funding, taxes, and hiring and retaining employees.
- The Association of Women’s Business Centers offers a range of resources for learning the ins and outs of business. The organization has live and recorded webinars on topics such as fundraising, and it also provides women business owners and entrepreneurs with access to support and services, including help with finding and securing the necessary startup capital.
- Powered by the National Women’s Business Council, Grow Her Business aims to support growth-minded women entrepreneurs by providing helpful information and resources on entrepreneurship, all in one convenient location. This comprehensive entrepreneurial resource platform provides a wealth of information and guidance for women in any step of the entrepreneurial journey – ideation, start-up, scaling, or growing. The site helps female entrepreneurs make strategic decisions about what resources to use and how to use them based on their step in the process.
Getting the necessary funding to start a business remains one of the biggest challenges for all entrepreneurs. Though women business owners may have once had trouble raising capital for their business ventures, investors are starting to see the benefits of providing funding for female entrepreneurs. Here are just a few funding resources that may provide options for women business owners:
- The Women’s Venture Fund is an organization that provides business loans to female entrepreneurs, helping women get the funds they need to get their businesses up and running. In addition to providing funding, they also aim to help their clients’ businesses succeed through offering training programs and one-on-one advisory services.
- 37 Angels brings together women investors who are interested in supporting women-run businesses. This organization is not only great for women entrepreneurs who need to raise capital to get their startup off the ground, but it is also a great resource for women who want to learn more about how to invest in startups and become angel investors.
- Golden Seeds is a group of investors who want to find and fund high-potential women-led businesses. The group aims to create a lasting impact by providing funding for businesses started and run by women that have the potential to thrive and grow. Golden Seeds is one of the largest and most active investment groups to focus on funding women entrepreneurs and companies where women hold leadership positions.
Networking is not only an important part of finding new business opportunities, but it also allows female entrepreneurs to meet other women business owners in the community who can provide advice and unique insight on the unique challenges of being a women entrepreneur. Mentorship opportunities allow women who are new to business to learn more from successful entrepreneurs who were once in their shoes. Here are some of the top networking and mentorship opportunities for women entrepreneurs:
- Women Who Startup is a Denver-based organization that provides networking events and summits to bring together female business founders and entrepreneurs. If you enjoy these events, you might also want to check out the organization’s podcast, Women Who Startup Radio.
- Astia is an organization based in San Francisco that provides networking opportunities and mentorship to high-potential women-run businesses. This organization also provides access to investors and capital, which is crucial to a startups success.
- In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE offers one of the largest networks of business mentors that provide free advice and answers to business questions. Women entrepreneurs can use SCORE to find and connect with other entrepreneurs, male or female, for mentorship and advice.