The vast majority of information and resources for starting and operating a business is helpful for any type of potential or existing small business owner, regardless of how we’re different. Yet, as we’re exploring the U.S. resources for various types of small business owners, we are reminded of the ways we need to break down historic barriers and encourage business development where opportunities have not always existed. Recognizing those needs exist, the United States has created a network of resources to address the unique needs, challenges and opportunities of emerging entrepreneurs. These resources seek to “level the playing field” for women business owners, who still face unique obstacles.
As part of our recognition of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019, we’re sharing this directory of U.S. resources for women business owners.
SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership
The mission of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership is to enable and empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education and support.
On the web: Office of Women’s Business Ownership
Women’s Business Centers
Supported by the SBA, Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) represent a national network of more than 100 educational centers throughout the United States and its territories. These centers are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) oversees the WBC network, which provides women business owners (especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged) comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics in several languages.
Directory of Local Business Centers
National Women’s Business Council
The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The council’s mission is to promote bold initiatives, policies and programs designed to support women’s business enterprises at all stages of development in the public and private sector—from start-up to success to significance.
On the web: National Women’s Business Council
These non-government organizations extend the network and resources of the SBA through idea-exchange and the support of volunteers and the private sector.
Association of Women’s Business Centers
Provides women business owners and entrepreneurs with a variety of support and services, including help in securing rounds of venture capital.
National Association of Women Business Owners
Provides information on an association committed to helping women entrepreneurs become effective in economic, social and political spheres of power.
Free and confidential business advice from mentors, both online and in-person.