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resources for female entrepreneurs

10 Great Business Resources for Female Entrepreneurs

Women are increasingly flexing their entrepreneurship muscles and performing well when they start up their own businesses. Nonetheless, business resources for female entrepreneurs aren’t nearly as plentiful as perhaps they should be.

Fundera research shows that 40% of U.S. businesses are women owned, and there are more than double the number of female entrepreneurs than existed 20 years ago. Women-lead private tech companies achieve 35% higher return on interest (ROI), and female-founded companies in First Round Capital’s portfolio outperformed male-founded companies by 63%.

Despite this, women receive just 7% of venture funds for their startups, says Fundera research. And overall, men who take out business loans receive an average amount of $43,916, versus almost $5,000 less for women.

The lesson: Women still are striving for equality when it comes to getting what they need while establishing their businesses. Fortunately, plenty of help is available when it comes to female entrepreneurs. The following are some business resources that women can tap into, including financing, as well as networking and information.

  • 37 Angels: 37 Angels is a group of women investors who are trying to educate early-stage investors and improve women’s representation in the “angel” community. Their website includes resources for investors and founders alike. Investors can attend in-person and online bootcamps that teach people the basics of early-stage investing, how to value startups, how to manage a portfolio of investments and more. Founders can apply to pitch 37 Angels’ network, claiming that you’ll “receive an investment decision four weeks after pitching.”
  • Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC): The AWBC is a nonprofit that sustains a national network of more than 100 Women’s Business Centers (WBCs). These WBCs offer training courses, mentoring partnerships, business development and financing opportunities. For instance, members of the Women’s Business Center of Ohio have access to a resource library, computer lab, business coaching, workshop programs, notary service, networking and access to small-business loans through the Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI).
  • Awesome Women Entrepreneurs (AWE): Awesome Women Entrepreneurs supports female business professionals by allowing them to meet up in casual social settings. These meetups started when AWE’s founders, two friends in Virginia, hosted a meeting of 25 women in their own home. “From there AWE was created – an intimate social setting where busy women business owners can relax, drink wine, share their stories and inspire one another.” The organization also offers a “Mastermind” program that helps founders develop business acumen and solve business challenges, and produces a popular weekly podcast.
  • Female Founders Fund: The Female Founders Fund declares: “Women experience greater successes – and fewer failures – than their male counterparts. Yet traditional venture capital does not reflect this. Female Founders Fund was founded to change that.” The fund invests in female-led companies in several areas, including e-commerce, web-enabled services and marketplaces, but also makes small “scout” investments in companies outside of its focus on institutional seed-stage opportunities. Portfolio companies have included Billie, Eloquii, Fable and Rent the Runway.
  • Lean In Network: The Lean In Network, unsurprisingly inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s best-selling book, boasts more than 44,000 “Circles” in more than 170 countries, bringing women together to provide each other with mentorship, skill sharpening and other support. Its advocacy includes an annual Women in the Workplace Study, Equal Pay Day campaigns and 50 Ways to Fight Bias. Women can go to the site to develop their leadership skills, learn how to negotiate and find ways to achieve a better work/life balance.
  • National Association of Women Business Owner (NAWBO): NAWBO, at 45 years old, has a long history of bringing together women business owners, providing educational resources and shaping public policy for female entrepreneurs. The organization hosts numerous national events covering topics such as “Managing Cash Flow for Growth,” “Building Relationships Through Networking” and “When Generations Collide – Better Communication Strategies.” Its website also provides numerous resources, such as a sprawling member directory, online educational programs and virtual resources.
  • National Women’s Business Council (NWBC): The NWBC is a federal advisory committee that provides advice and policy recommendations to the Small Business Administration, Congress and even the president on economic issues important to female entrepreneurs. Its leadership includes representatives of NAWBO and AWBC. The committee makes deep data dives to provide insights into female-led businesses, engages with women business owners and operates a Small Business Roundtable Series covering topics such as “Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship” and “Women in STEM.”
  • Tory Burch Foundation: The Tory Burch Foundation, created in 2009, provides female business leaders with access to affordable loans, entrepreneurial education via a partnership with Goldman Sachs, and mentoring and networking opportunities. The Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, powered by Bank of America, connects women entrepreneurs to local community lenders to directly provide affordable loans. Eligibility criteria include owning a sustainable company, having a satisfactory credit rating and notching at least two years in business.
  • Women at Work (Podcast): The Women at Work podcast, which just concluded its fourth season, sees hosts Amy Bernstein, Amy Gallo and Nicole Torres – all of the Harvard Business Review – discuss issues such as standing up to interrupting male colleagues, interview experts on gender and provide practical advice on a wide range of business matters.
  • Women’s Venture Fund (WVF): The WVF, founded in 1994, is a nonprofit organization that provides a range of services to women trying to establish businesses in urban communities. The fund has helped to launch more than 3,200 small businesses via advisory services, training programs and women’s business loans. The Women’s Venture Fund recognizes that “women request less funding and run the risk of undercapitalizing their firms,” and “helps women better calculate their needs through an in-depth consultation process, offering strategies to achieve profitability.”

If you’re looking for a trusted source of business services, consider tapping McManamon & Co., which assists small and midsize firms. We tackle a wide range of needs, from accounting to business valuation to outsourced CFO and bill-pay services.

Add your company to the growing list of success stories written by female founders. Call us at 440.892.9088 or contact us online today.

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