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- iHaveNet.com: Small Business Guide
Real Small Business
Women-owned businesses have become a significant part of the small business universe, and their influence continues to grow. Over a third of all U.S. businesses are now owned by women, and the growth rate of women-owned firms regularly outpaces overall business growth, according to the National Foundation for Women Business Owners.
Women who want to expand their current business or start their own company have a wide range of resources available to them in the form of trade and professional associations and government assistance programs.
Here are some of the key resources that women entrepreneurs need to know about. (Note: Some require annual membership dues.)
American Business Women's Association (ABWA)
The ABWA's primary focus is to promote entrepreneurial ventures by women.
It offers Women Entrepreneurs member discounts, ranging from car rentals and office products to long-distance phone services. The ABWA also provides education and skill building services to assist members just starting out.
American Woman's Economic Development Corp. (AWED)
AWED's experts have experience in every area of small business -- from financing and wholesale distribution to public relations.
They offer classes in the New York City area, but also dispense advice and coaching to members nationwide over the telephone. Four regional conferences held annually to encourage networking among members.
Federal Trade Commission
If you believe you have been denied a loan or credit because you are a woman, you can contact the FTC's Consumer Response Center for help. The FTC is in charge of enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which prohibits lenders from denying credit based on gender or marital status.
While the FTC will not act on individual complaints, a large number of complaints against a vendor may force it to take action and investigate further. The FTC also can put you in touch with other agencies that can investigate a complaint immediately.
Mothers' Home Business Network (MHBN)
One of the largest groups for women home-based business owners. MHBN provides information, ideas, and inspiration to mom's who choose to work at home.
The Mothers' Home Business Network publishes two newsletters, Home Working Mothers (annual) and Kids and Career (twice a year). MHBN provides literature on how to juggle your time between raising children and running a successful business as well as a "fraud detector" for evaluating home business opportunities.
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
NAWBO is a lobbying organization aimed at promoting policies that encourage female entrepreneurship. NAWBO also established the National Foundation for Women Business Owners (NFWBO), a non-profit research foundation.
NFWBO publishes a wide range of research studies and reports on statistical trends among women-owned firms. Its Compendium of National Statistics on Women-Owned Businesses in the U.S. brings together all the publicly available statistical information on women-owned businesses.
National Association for Female Executives (NAFE)
Provides career counseling, resume services, discounts on travel, insurance, business services, annual conferences and seminars.
National Women's Business Council (NWBC)
Authorized by Congress in 1994, the National Women's Business Council is an independent advisory panel of the federal government. It serves as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, the Congress and the Interagency Committee on Women's Business Enterprise on matters of importance to women business owners. It also helps gauge the effectiveness of programs and policies designed to support women-owned businesses.
Office of Women's Business Ownership
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a wide range of services and benefits for women who own their own businesses, or are looking to start one. These include training, counseling, and mentoring services, and local and national resources. It also offers access to the SBA's many loan guarantee programs, including the 7(a) program.
U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau
Advocates on behalf of women's work issues and strives to ensure that the voices of working women are heard in public policy arena. Proposes policies and legislation that benefit working women and reports findings to president, congress, and public. Has clearing house resource center that offers information and guidance on age, wage, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, fair pay initiatives. Also offers variety of free publications for women business owners.
National Women Business Owner's Corporation (NWBOC)
The National Women Business Owner's Corporation is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing opportunities by women business owners for corporate and government contracts. It's NWBOC Network Web site provides information and technical assistance about the corporate and government purchasing markets. Sponsors a National Certification Program to verify the ownership and control of businesses by women. Also collaborates with corporate and government purchasing officials to shape procurement policies, and outreach programs, and educate purchasers about the benefits they will receive in contracting with women business owners.
Help at the State Level
Over half the states have special resources designed to assist female entrepreneurs.
For example, New Jersey has an Office of Women Business Enterprise that helps women who want to open, expand or buy a business, while under Oklahoma's Women-Owned Business Assistance Program, women business owners can get free business planning and marketing assistance.
You can get more information through your state's Office of Economic Development.
- Starting Up Your Business
- Coming Up With a Winning Business Idea
- Common Startup Mistakes
- The New Rules for Startups
- Business Incubator FAQs
- Naming Your Business
- Researching Your Business
- Your Personal Savings
- Registration, Licenses, and Permits
- Getting a Tax ID Number
- Fast-Growth Startup Resources
- Structuring Your Business
- Overview: Corporations
- State Offices of Incorporation
- Incorporate Out of State?
- Writing a Partnership Agreement
- Choosing a Board of Directors
- Basics of a C Corporation
- Basics of an S Corporation
- Basics of an LLC
- Basics of a Sole Proprietorship
- Basics of a Non-Profit Corporation
- Basics of a Professional Corporation
- Basics of a General Partnership
- Basics of a Limited Partnership
- Your Company's Public Relations
- Elements of a Successful Public Relations Campaign
- How to Use Your Press Coverage Effectively
- Press Releases
- How to Write a Successful Press Release
- Sample Product/Service Press Release
- Sample Commentary Press Release
- Sample Event Press Release
- Sample Tips Press Release
- Sample Personnel Press Release
- Effective Competitive Analysis
- Managing Purchasing to Maximize Cash Flow
- Top Six Pricing Mistakes Businesses Make
- How to Avoid Lowering Your Prices
- Bidding Basics
- Hiring Staff
- Creating an Effective Job Description
- Do You Know How to Pick Them?
- Little-Known Hiring Resources
- Classifying Contract Workers
- Tips for Successful Interviewing
- What You Can't Ask in a Job Interview
- New Hire Paperwork
- Small Business Insurance
- Types of Insurance for Small Businesses
- Small Business Insurance FAQs
- Insurance Resources for Small Businesses
- Home Office Insurance: Myths & Realities
- Small Business Resources
- Government Resources for Small Business on the Web
- Resources for Women Entrepreneurs
- Fast-Growth Startup Resources
- Small Business Security Resources
- Taking Time Off
- Your Pre-Vacation Checklist
- How to Take a Vacation
- Learning to Delegate
- Getting Away When You Can't Get Away
- Preparing for Tax Season
- Year-End Planning Tax Savers
- 10 Ways to Pay Less in Tax
- 25 Common Business Deductions and Expenses
- Avoid These Common Errors and Audit Triggers
- Understanding the Home Office Deduction
- Corporate Income Taxes Primer
- Employment Taxes Primer
- Sales Tax Primer
- Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships Tax Primer
- How to Get a Filing Extension
- Year-End Reconciliation
- Getting the Most from Your Accountant
- Developing Accurate Financial Projections
- Cash Flow
- 10 Ways to Help Increase Your Cash Flow
- Cash vs Accrual Accounting
- Bookkeeping and Record Keeping Basics
- Quick Ways to Get Through a Cash Crunch
- Projecting Cash Flow
- Cash Flow Triage
- Getting Funding
- Cash Flow Through Factoring
- Small Business Investment Corporations (SBIC)
- Traditional Funding Sources
- Non-Traditional Funding Sources
- Your Company's Credit
- How to Read a Business Credit Report
- Credit Terms Glossary for Your Small Business
- How to Protect and Improve Your Business Credit Rating
- Give Your Business the Financing Edge
- Employee Compensation
- Employee Benefits
- Bonuses: How To Be Fair
- Workers' Compensation Q&A
- Keeping Workers' Compensation Costs Down
- Payroll Management Choices
- Key Elements of Payroll
- Working with a Payroll Service Provider
- How to Create a Business Plan
Starting Your Own Business - Small Business Resources for Women Entrepreneurs on the Web
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