Business is business, right? The numbers are either in the black column or the red one, regardless of whether you’re wearing a tie or a skirt. So the majority of business advice, like the articles, podcasts and blog entries posted each week here on StartupNation, is just as applicable to women entrepreneurs as it is to men. However, there are some areas of business ownership, such as securing traditional financing, that tend to pose a greater challenge for women entrepreneurs. Additionally, many women have a desire to connect with, support and learn from other emerging and established female business owners. Particularly those who’ve been there, done that and can help us navigate some of the pitfalls as well as inspire us to reach new heights.
Five excellent resources for women entrepreneurs
Ladies Who Launch - Ladies Who Launch is a media company focused on providing resources and connections for women entrepreneurs. The Ladies Who Launch mission is to make
entrepreneurship accessible to any woman with a project, dream or
aspiration to start her own business and be successful. The website provides community, tools, resources and success stories.
National Association of Women Business Owners - This premier organization for women entrepreneurs has tons of resources to help you build your business, including discounts on useful products and services for members, such as an offer from Wells Fargo to waive the opening fee for a business credit line. Their free newsletter, which is worth signing up for, provides brief summaries of relevant articles on national business trends, economic issues, networking, effective presentations and sales strategies.
eWomenNetwork - Like the name says, this one is all about networking. Members can receive free coaching, connect with other women entrepreneurs and promote their products or services to the most visited, membership-based women's networking organization on the internet.
Center for Women’s Business Research - If you’re in need of compelling numbers to help build your case when seeking financing, government contracts or support, this site offers a wealth of information which is organized for quick access. Their annual Executive Roundtable offers high-level advice and networking opportunities in a one-day format.
Make Mine a Million Business - The sole goal of this organization is to help women-owned businesses pass the million-dollar mark. Depending on the size of your business, you can apply for a program award, which includes up to $45,000 in financing and a year of mentoring from a team of business advisors, or a micro loan of up to $10,000 from Count Me In For Women’s Economic Independence, which created its program to award loans based on other factors besides credit history. Already up the business curve and want to give back? You can also volunteer to be a mentor to other women entrepreneurs.
Tap into the experience of other women entrepreneurs
At times, venturing into entrepreneurship can feel a bit like you’re hanging out on a branch all by yourself with no tree trunk in sight. But with online resources like these - and the StartupNation community , of course - women entrepreneurs can tap into the inspiration, tools and support you need to turn your business ambitions into business realities.
Tami Anderson and Elizabeth Howland co-founded andHow Marketing, and have 35 years combined experience marketing to women across a variety of consumer goods and services.