A Business and Development Guide for Female Entrepreneurs
Women own about 25% of all small businesses, and that market share is growing. Women-led companies experienced a growth rate of more than 16% between 2010 and 2019, versus a growth rate of only about 5% for companies led by men. Women start businesses for the same reason anyone else does: They want to fulfill their vision and have autonomy over their work. However, women are more likely to start a business based on an idea, skill, or hobby they are passionate about. Women face unique challenges when starting their own company, but there are also a wealth of resources designed to help women build a successful business.
Women's Business Resources
- Association of Women's Business Centers (AWBC): The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) partners with this nonprofit to operate more than 100 Women's Business Centers around the country to support female entrepreneurs.
- Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE): Women in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont can turn to this organization for support, including microloans, for starting or growing their businesses.
- The International Association of Women (IAW): Professional development is vital for anyone interested in growing their career or business, and this organization offers a plethora of resources and opportunities.
- Ladies Who Launch: Digital platforms offer the chance for women entrepreneurs to network with each other no matter where they are located, and this organization harnesses that power.
- National Association of Mom Entrepreneurs: Moms sometimes need extra support as they start a business while also balancing raising a family, and this organization works to provide that support and understanding.
- National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO): Founded in 1975, this organization offers a variety of resources as well as both in-person and virtual events to help female business owners thrive.
- National Women's Business Council (NWBC): The mission of this organization is to advocate for female business owners. They lobby Congress, work with the Small Business Association, and also offer webinars for entrepreneurs.
- National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC): Some opportunities are only available to women-owned or minority-owned businesses. The NWBOC offers certifications that a business is woman-owned, which is a necessary component for applying for some contracts and grants.
How to Start a Business
- Lender Match Program: The Small Business Administration runs this program designed to help potential business owners find lenders for SBA-backed loan programs.
- Choosing the Right Location for Your New Business: SCORE offers guides for every stage of a business, including the planning stages.
- Seven Tips for Women Who Want to Start a Business: Narrow in on the story of the business and its founder to present a compelling story that will catch the attention of investors.
- How to Start a Woman-Owned Business: It's important that all entrepreneurs know what their niche is and what they offer that no one else does.
- Nine Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Business Advice for Women: The best advice comes from those who have already started a business and been successful.
- Tips for Women Wanting to Start a Business From Scratch: Many female business owners have to keep their day job when they first start their business.
- How to Start a Successful Minority-Woman-Owned Small Business: Women of color face some additional challenges when starting businesses.
- Black Female Entrepreneurs Give Their Best Business Advice: Learning how to survey the business landscape and take risks is necessary for anyone starting a business.
Write Your Business Plan
- How to Write a Business Plan, Step by Step: A business plan outlines potential goals, including financial goals, and provides a road map for how the business will reach these goals.
- How to Write the Perfect Business Plan in Nine Steps: Writing a business plan can feel overwhelming, but breaking it down into steps makes it a far more manageable task.
- How to Write a Winning Business Plan: Harvard Business School offers expert advice on writing the best possible business plan.
- Guide to Creating a Business Plan With a Template: The included template will help make writing a business plan a more efficient process.
- Sample Business Plan: The University of Vermont published this business plan that other entrepreneurs can use for inspiration.
- Create Your Business With Business Plan Templates: The Tory Burch Foundation offers an interactive business plan builder that starts with the user choosing from one of three template styles.
- Example Business Plan: Penn State offers this business plan written for a fictional nursery to help new business owners understand how to write a compelling plan for their own company.
- How to Write a Business Plan: Women working to start a business need to write a business plan, but so do women trying to grow their current business.
- Small-Business Loans for Women: Some loans are only available to woman-owned companies.
- WomensNet Grants: Almost half a million dollars a year in grants are given out by this organization.
- Assistance for Small Businesses: The United States Treasury offers resources and help for small businesses and startups.
- Managing Your Small Business Finances: The FDIC designed this guide to help entrepreneurs successfully manage their finances.
- Five Simple Tips to Keep Your Small-Business Finances in Order: The first step is to always keep personal and business finances separate.
Miscellaneous Business Resources
- WBENC Annual Conference: The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) puts on an annual conference that provides educational opportunities for entrepreneurs along with networking opportunities.
- U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce: The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce advocates for women-owned businesses and offers a certification accepted by federal contractors.
- Milestone Circles: This program is designed to help potential entrepreneurs hone their business plans and grow their network.
- How to Do Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses: Being able to market your business on social media is an essential part of any successful business.