Build Your Network and Skills With These Inspiring Female-Centered Resources
There’s no doubt that women face unique challenges in starting and running a business. Whether you work outdoors, freelance, or spend your days in the corporate world – it isn’t easy.
In the office, women are twice as likely to be mistaken for junior employees than men. The glass ceiling is a real thing. Also, while many are aware of a pay gap between men and women, there’s evidence that this division is even more significant when it comes to self-employment.
Still, while there’s a long way to go, reports show workplace gender equality is improving. Additionally, The US ranked as the best global market for female entrepreneurs. 39% of US businesses now belong to women, and that number is multiplying rapidly.
For us at Invoice2go, we want to empower you and help you get the results you deserve. We value community and see it as an essential part of growth and career success. Facebook groups, podcasts, and online memberships can be incredible tools to inspire and connect you with likeminded people.
We’re proud to announce the launch of The Female Founders Network – a new Invoice2go-sponsored Facebook community, Instagram feed, and podcast for ambitious women. We also regularly share the stories of women chasing their dreams and growing their business on our blog.
To celebrate our new community and women in business, we want to share a wealth of useful information to inspire you and take you to the next level. Here are 10 excellent resources just for women in the US. Let’s dive in:
1. National Association of Women Business Owners
Since 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has been dedicated to serving women across the US. They define themselves as the unified voice of the +10 million women-owned businesses – which is the fastest-growing segment of the economy.
NAWBO’s membership includes plenty of useful resources to help you reach your goals. They have a user-generated library that’s continually updated with diverse and timely information from industry leaders.
They also have a membership directory that aims to initiate meaningful discussions about entrepreneurship, public policy, and how to better manage work-life balance. For all entrepreneurs at all stages of business development, there is useful advice here.
Finally, with the NAWBO Institute, women can access virtual online learning. This is an excellent resource to hone business skills and learn strategies.
2. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership
The Small Business Administration is one of the most reliable resources for any independent professional or small business owner. No matter which stage of growth you’re in, you can count on the SBA for helpful information and resources to support. They also have hundreds of resources designed specifically for women and thousands of offices across the country.
The SBA has an internal organization, called the Office of Women’s Business Ownership. They regularly host training programs for women seeking advice on business development and accessing federal contracts, credit, and capital.
You can also get training online with DreamBuilder. This valuable tool introduces you to all business ownership areas with an engaging curriculum available in both English and Spanish. After finishing the program, you should have a clearer idea about starting or further developing your business.
3. The BOSS Network
Founded by Cameka Smith, The BOSS Network – Bringing Out Successful Sisters – is a female empowerment alliance dedicated to building networks that support women personally and professionally. This online community of entrepreneurs and other professionals aims to empower women through conversation, education, and both in-person and online networking.
Forbes has recognized The BOSS Network as one of the Top 10 entrepreneurial websites for women, and the 10 best women’s career sites. They are widely considered one of the best digital platforms for women of color. They have supported over 200,000 women across the US over the past 10 years.
Their paid membership offers plenty of perks, including discounts on events, monthly workshops, and other resources. However, they also share free high-quality content on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
4. Lean In Network
The Lean In Network is one of the most respected organizations for women business owners and entrepreneurs. Founded by Sheryl Sandberg, a Facebook executive, and prominent women’s rights activist, this network promotes gender equality. It aims to build up women working in all disciplines and industries.
This organization functions through circles, which are small groups of women who regularly share experiences and support each other. There are now more than 44,000 of these in +170 countries. Circles operate at national and local levels and connect you to hundreds of women in business, tech, politics, and other diverse organizations.
The Lean In Network website has a wide variety of video and blog resources to help women hone skills on everything from leadership skills to negotiation to work/life balance. Their Facebook page has more than 2 million followers and regularly posts compelling content.
5. So Money
So Money is the top-rated female-hosted podcast by Entrepreneur Magazine. Inc. has also labeled it the best podcast to grow your business. Hosted by award-winning financial correspondent, television personality, and financial correspondent, Farnoosh Torabi, this show shares candid conversations about money. Guests include high-profile business experts, authors, and influencers, and others.
Farnoosh Torabi started her career as a journalist and has written several books to help women, including She Wants More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women.
Farnoosh also has tons of money-related information on her website. From books to blogs to videos, there’s lots of valuable information. She also has excellent information on her Instagram account.
Do you remember this TV series? It’s based on the young life of Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, which was one of the fastest-growing companies in 2012. Amoruso was listed in Forbes as one of the richest self-made women in the world for a short time.
Amoruso’s Girlboss Media has now established a community of ambitious women looking to redefine success. They share resources and mentorship through in-person and virtual meetups, newsletters, podcasts, and more. Their content is unapologetic, direct, and fabulous for a laugh.
Girlboss Radio shares candid conversations with trailblazers. These explain in-depth what it takes to build a successful career or grow a business. Each episode is filled with humor and vulnerability. Women share how they live life on their own terms and navigate personal and professional curveballs.
There is also The Girlboss Rally, a super-supportive conference, and community. While in-person events are currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s worth keeping tabs on for the future.
7. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
The WBENC is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the US. They’re also a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs. They provide several useful services that are worth checking out.
They present official certification that a business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by women. Their standard is accepted by more than 1,000 prestigious brands, as well as states, cities, and governments.
They also provide best-in-class programming, events, and networking opportunities. To address the challenges many women face, they also offer support, education, and tools to grow and succeed. The organization focuses heavily on community and supports engagement through councils, ambassadorships, and a recognition and awards program.
8. Women Taking The Lead with Jodi Flynn
Jodi Flynn is another leading resource just for women. She’s been featured in top business magazines and is the president of the Maine Women’s Conference. She has also written a popular book and is the host of a critically-acclaimed podcast, Women Taking The Lead.
Women Taking the Lead is recommended by Forbes as one of the best podcasts for female entrepreneurs. This twice per week interview-style podcast brings in successful women and men who support women in leadership. One of this show’s primary purposes is to help you eliminate self-doubt, inspire passion, and better manage your inner critic.
Women Taking the Lead provides a virtual community through Facebook and other social media outlets. She also provides 1:1 coaching for those who are extra ambitious and looking to receive personalized help.
9. Jenna Kutcher and Goal Digger
Jenna Kutcher started out side-hustling as a wedding photographer with an inexpensive camera. Eventually, she broke out of her 9 to 5 and established a lifestyle that provided her with more fulfillment and flexibility. She now runs a seven-figure business and mentors women worldwide, teaching courses on everything from Instagram for business to email marketing.
Her Goal Digger podcast has more than 20 million downloads. The mixed-format show shares interviews featuring successful women entrepreneurs, productivity tips, social media strategies, and live coaching sessions.
Jenna has created useful online marketing courses on everything from content marketing to preparing for a launch. While each class is paid, the content is high quality and could be worth the investment if you’re looking to advance those skills.
10. The Female Founders Network
In each podcast episode, hosts Nat Brown and Sylvie Hall interview an entrepreneur, small business owner, or industry leader we admire. They strive to help share their story and offer you valuable tips and tricks.
Our growing Facebook community is a great place to meet with like-minded women and learn easily actionable business advice. We hope you’ll consider joining us for great new content every week.
We’re in this together. We hope these resources will inspire you, expand your skills and knowledge, and help you meet the people that propel you towards your dreams.
Remember: mentorship and network are two of the most essential keys to unlocking your personal and professional growth. No matter where you choose to build your community, surround yourself with people and resources that ignite your passion, and help you get the results you deserve. You’ve got this.