Ladies, we make great entrepreneurs.
We create women-friendly workplaces. We lead with strength. We build strong relationships. And, many of us seamlessly transition from CEO of the workplace to CEO of the household—reading bedtime stories and tucking in our kids for the night.
What are we not good at?
Finding support and asking for help.
It’s time to starting seeking support for your small business. Whether it’s help getting financing or a business mentorship, all of us deserve support as we navigate the rocky road of entrepreneurship.
The good news is there are a ton of resources designed to help female small business leaders, like you, succeed. Here are a few of them.
Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC)
If you’re a small business owner looking for financing opportunities, the AWBC can help. It offers a national network of more than 100 Women’s Business Centers (WBC) that provide training, mentoring, and financing support to women who are starting their own businesses.
EY Entrepreneurial Winning WomenTM
If you’re a female entrepreneur and have at least \$2 million in in sales over the past 2 years, you should check out the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program. This elite program offers education and an exclusive network of women entrepreneurs. Through the program, women advise one another—and help one another scale their businesses quickly.
National Association for Female Executives (NAFE)
NAFE is the nation’s largest association supporting women business owners. The network includes women executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs who are all committed to supporting women in business. The association offers a platform for women to connect with one another, learn the latest research and trends, and attend local events.
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
This is another thriving organization with over 5,000 members and 60 chapters across the U.S. The organization is proud to represent 9.1 million women-owned businesses in America. When you join NAWBO, you get access to member-exclusive eLearning content, leadership opportunities, and discounted access to NAWBO events.
National Women’s Business Council (NWB)
The National Women’s Business Council counsels the President, Congress, and U.S. Small Business Administration on issues pertaining to female small business owners. The goal of the council is to support America’s economy by encouraging women business leaders and their organizations. Through events, the Council connects women entrepreneurs and provides opportunities for their businesses to expand.
Instagram is chocked full of inspiring quotes, images, and business tips. Here are a few beautiful accounts that won’t disappoint:
One Woman Shop.
If you’re working solo and need support, One Woman Shop is a great place to go. You’ll find member-contributed content, as well as the support of other women who run their businesses.
You’ve probably heard of Sophia Amoruso, the bestselling author and founder of Nasty Gal, an online women’s fashion retailer. Today she run GirlBoss Media, and cultivates online communities of women entrepreneurs.
Create and Cultivate.
Founded by Jaclyn Johnson, Create and Cultivate offers everything from inspiring quotes, to practical tips about handling taxes and negotiating deals.
Follow BossBabe and listen to the podcast, too. BossBabe offers free training—right on Instagram. Learn how to earn money and promote your business on social media.
Ever watch Shark Tank? Then you’ll love reading Barbara Corcoran’s story and advice for women in Shark Tales: How I Turned \$1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business. She borrowed \$1,000 from a boyfriend, quit her waitressing job, and founded an incredibly successful real estate business.
Another great read is Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. It tells the story of Sheryl Sandberg’s experience losing her husband and picking up her feet to move forward. Beware: this book is powerful. If you’ve ever faced a life-changing event or you feel paralyzed by struggles, this book is for you.
Finally, pick up Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. I’m in awe of how Rachel Hollis has built quickly become a New York Times bestselling author and an incredibly successful social media influencer. Plus, people all over the globe seek her to speak at events and conferences. Rachel tells it like it is—she wants you to stop waiting to start your business and get moving now.
Live in NYC, San Francisco, or Boston? Check out The Wing. This female-focused coworking space provides unique opportunities for women to connect and inspire one another under the same roof. Founded in 2016 by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, The Wing has a mission to improve economic opportunities for women across the globe. When you join the wing, you’ll access a beautiful workspace, as well as member-only events and a thriving digital network.
If you’re in Minneapolis, check out The Coven. You can get day passes, or join one of their monthly non-member events, offering support and education to entrepreneurs.
Finally, EvolveHer is a women’s only work and event space in Chicago. If you live in the Windy Cindy, you should visit. There are options to join the community or sign up for a dedicated workspace.
When you’ve exhausted all of the social media accounts, blogs, digital resources, and coworking events, it’s time to meet a friend. Sometimes women find their greatest support right in their own communities.
Is there a female small business owner you know and admire? Reach out to her. Get coffee. Send an email and strike up a conversation. Some of the best mentorship relationships begin casually. And, if you can mentor another woman in business, take the time to do so. Giving back matters—plus, you’ll end up learning too.
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I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.
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