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Business Resources for Non-Geeky Women Entrepreneurs

by Bani Banerjee
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Business Resource for Non Geeky Women Entrepreneurs | Womopreneur

In the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship, women are starting businesses at an unprecedented pace. As per the report by American Express (2018), approximately there were close to 12.3 million businesses that were owned by women in the U.S. economy. However, it has been noticed that women entrepreneurs often face many challenges while planning, beginning, and maintaining their start-ups. The list of challenges grows even longer with lack of funding, limited societal support, negative stereotypes, dearth of opportunities in corporate leadership roles, finding work-life balance, and more.

To help the struggle of businesswomen by addressing the obstacles faced by them, we have curated a list of essential business resources, guides, and useful tools for non-geeky women entrepreneurs.

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There is an abundance of business resources for female entrepreneurs, let’s have a look at a few of them for your reference to find the right choice of a business resource for you.

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Formation Resources : Every business needs an idea to work. Without a solid idea, the formation of a business venture is close to impossible. Or if it does, it will surely fail soon after the launch. Thus, one should first and foremost brainstorm about an idea to form the base of your dream business.

Small Business Administration (SBA):

The U.S. Small Business Administration is a United States government agency that provides support to different entrepreneurs and small businesses. SBA’s resources for women entrepreneurs are limitless, ranging from business guides on launching and managing your business to in-person local assistance. The good thing is that you don’t need a membership; however, small business owners will need to fill in applications for SBA-guaranteed grants or loans; the latter has a wait time of around 60 to 90 days.

As per their official website: “Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to help small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. The SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses.”

Small Business British Columbia (SBBC)

SBBC provides detailed guidance and problem solving to open your own business effortlessly. It helps British Columbia’s entrepreneurs grow successful and sustainable businesses through expert business advisors, educational services, easy-to-use free resources, and engaging community events. As they claim on their official website, “At Small Business BC we offer a range of business resources and tools for those starting a business – we’re proud to have helped thousands of small businesses start in British Columbia.

Whether you’ve spotted a gap in the market, want to do something that you’re passionate about, or turn that side hustle into something longer term, we can help.”

The Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC)

The Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC) is the professional association of patent agents, trademark agents, and lawyers practicing in all areas of intellectual property (IP) law. On their website, you can learn about intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

With 1,000 local centers that offer no-cost business consulting and inexpensive training to emerging or developing businesses, the Small Business Development Center serves as the “most comprehensive business assistance network in the United States.” It also has numerous online resources for women entrepreneurs like exclusive offers for specific company must-haves, e-learning, and cybersecurity assistance. SBDC also hosts an annual conference that covers all topics for small businesses, featuring networking, vendors, and a tradeshow.

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Capital Resources : Post the ideation, the second major requirement for a smooth operation of your dream business is to have a pocket full of funding. Acquired from investors or savings, access to financial stability helps in the peaceful running of your business.

WomensNet

WomensNet is one of the few places offering grants to female-founded small businesses. Ditch the endless paperwork to get government grants with WomensNet. Recently increased to $10,000, the WomensNet Amber Grant is awarded to one female-founded business each month, with the opportunity for a winner to earn an additional $25,000 grant at the end of the year. All it takes is a $15 fee and a handful of persuasive answers to the short application.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

While SBA should be considered as the first choice for any new business for the reason of planning resources, SBA also stands to grant loans to small businesses. It has loan programs available to anyone starting a small business, the SBA is particularly helpful for women. Rather than lending out money directly, it most commonly backs loans, acting as a co-signer to allow borrowers to receive larger loans at lower interest rates.

The SBA backed almost 10,000 loans for women entrepreneurs in the fiscal year 2009, totaling about $2 billion. SBA-licensed intermediaries were responsible for lending an additional $13.8 million to female-owned businesses.

National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)

Founded in the year 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners has grown rapidly to support more than 10 million women-led businesses. NAWBO’s main aim is to become a “one-stop resource to push women entrepreneurs into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide” which is accomplished through unifying its members in strategic alliances. NAWBO in its full potential provides resources to strengthen the wealth-creating capacity and economic development of its members, especially women entrepreneurs.

Royal Bank of Canada

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has specifically developed advice and services to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs. Financing is available through the bank, as well as additional resources and expertise. They have the Small Business Financial Services Resource Centre, where women entrepreneurs can get easy access to an extensive assortment of information and assistance in starting and expanding a business, as well as succession planning for their retirement. Additionally, the bank also provides one-on-one strategic advising for female entrepreneurs to ensure the smooth flow of their businesses.

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Community Support Resources : If you have strong support from your community, nothing can beat your zeal. Building a strong support system comes not just from family but also by networking with other women entrepreneurs in your field of operation.

eWomenNetwork

The meaning is in the name. eWomenNetwork is a small business networking resource for enthusiastic women entrepreneurs. With more than 118 chapters across various countries including but not limited to the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, the network has already grown to a considerable size, connecting over 500,000 women and men. That does sound like a BIG thing! They cater to healthy community-building through several core initiatives, such as its annual conference, Women’s Success Summit, SpeakersNetwork, success coaches, and monthly Sip, Tip & Talk events for women in business.

Count Me In

Founded by Nell Marino, an international and national champion for women and girls and the creative force behind ‘Take Our Daughters to Work Day’. Count Me In is the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education, and community support for women entrepreneurs. This is a great resource for women entrepreneurs who are seeking to grow micro-businesses into million-dollar enterprises.

 Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) 

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is a one-of-a-kind non-profit organization with a focus on stimulating the economy through women entrepreneurship. As the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive women’s business assistance center in the United States, they have programs designed to help individuals in every phase of the business development and growth process.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Yes! The same SBA – Small Business Administration offers a ton of resources to women-led businesses and women entrepreneurs. They have their own Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) for local assistance that represent a national network of more than 100 educational centers throughout the United States and its territories, which are designed to assist women entrepreneurs in starting and growing small businesses. WBC has a goal to help women entrepreneurs who are facing unique obstacles in achieving and running their dream businesses. SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) oversees the WBC network, which provides entrepreneurs (especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged) comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics in several languages.  

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Certification Resources: Make your business credible with certification resources. This will help you grow your business with stable peace of mind.

Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council helps legitimize and expand women-owned businesses by acting as the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. Women entrepreneurs or budding businesswomen can use the WBENC website to find out more about the certification or apply for the certification. As claimed on their official website “WBENC Certification is the most widely recognized and respected national certification for women-owned businesses in the U.S.”Business resources are abundantDaye National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC)

More than twenty years ago, NWBOC became the first organization to create a national certification program for women-owned businesses. It provides a national certification program to both WOSBs (Women-Owned Small Business) and EDWOSBs (Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business). It is appealing for women business owners who want national certification and who wish to benefit from further resources such as mentoring programs, training opportunities, and funding.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Getting certified as a woman-owned business takes grit and tenacity. To qualify for the WOSB (Women-Owned Small Business) certification, your business must meet the following:

  • Your business must be at least 51% owned by women and be U.S. citizens.
  • Women must manage daily operations and make long-term decisions for the business.
  • A woman must hold the highest officer position in the business.
  • The business must meet the SBA small business size standards.

U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC)

The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC) is a body that offers Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) certification in addition to Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification. All you need to do is fill an online form, complete it and submit it. It takes around 15-30 days with a cost of $275 for members and $350 for non-members.

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