In the past 20 years, the number of women-owned businesses in the US has increased by a staggering 114%. Data shows that the number of female entrepreneurship is on the rise across a number of metrics:
- Women are 5% more likely to start an “innovative business” than men
- Women are now making up 40% of new entrepreneurs
- The number of women-owned businesses has increased by 58% since 2007.
Luckily, there’s never been a better time for women to access business resources designed specifically to assist them. From funding allocated for female entrepreneurs to new mentorship programs and communities like Ladies Get Paid, there are lots of ways to get started in building a business. Here are just a few places to look for advice, support, financing, and more when starting and running your business.
Where to: find a mentor
Studies have shown that individuals with mentors end up finding greater career success. Better opportunities, raises, and promotions have been directly linked to working with someone who can guide you and offer advice. For entrepreneurs, mentorship is particularly important; yet women often come up against the “old boys club” mentality that prevents them from finding mentors with the same ease as men. If you’re finding it hard to get good guidance, here are some places to look for a mentor.
- Ask an Expert
- Ladies Get Paid
- 37 angels
- Women Who Startup
- Female Founders Association
- Lean In Network
- Awesome Women Entrepreneurs
Where to: apply for funding
Despite how many female entrepreneurs are starting businesses, funding remains relatively limited. Unfortunately, only 16% of small business loans go to women entrepreneurs. There are some loans, grants, and venture capital firms that cater specifically to women entrepreneurs; here’s a few that stand out from the crowd. In addition to these resources, check out our guide to Small business loans for African-American women entrepreneurs.
- The Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership
- Entrepreneurial Winning Women
- Female Founders Fund
- SoGal Ventures
- The Tory Burch Foundation
- Women’s Venture Fund
- Women Who Startup
- Amber Grant Foundation
- Plum Alley Investments
Where to: learn how to get started
Have a great idea, and not sure what to do with it? It’s not necessary to get an MBA (and rack up those student loans) in order to start a business. These resources can help you learn accounting, hiring, logistics, and operations skills you need to get your business off the ground. From incubators to online courses, check out some of these options for learning how to lead and run a business.
Where to: hire other women
According to economic reports, employment at women-owned businesses rose by 21% from 2007–2018; compare this to the 0.8% decline for employment at all business over the same period, and it’s clear that women entrepreneurs have a lot to offer. If it’s one of your goals to employ more women, check out some of these sites. There’s nothing more powerful than women supporting other women.
Other resources for women entrepreneurs
Looking for inspiration to get you started? Check out these organizations involved in advocacy on behalf of women in business. There are also some great podcasts, blogs, and books to help you get motivated.
- National Association of Women Business Owners
- The National Women’s Business Council
- Awesome Women Entrepreneurs podcast
- Side Hustle Pro: Women Entrepreneurs podcast
- Lean the F*ck Out podcast
For more resources, check out the 5 Questions series on the Clover Blog for answers to some of the burning questions keeping business owners up at night.
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