There’s “women power” in the business arena with minority-women-owned businesses becoming a major force in today’s marketplace. Of course, operating a successful enterprise takes sound planning, solid management and adequate financing. If you’re in the market for invaluable sources of information and friendly advice on running a business, read on. The following resource list includes organizations, books, financial contacts and online sources for both established and fledgling women CEOs.
A LITTLE HELP FROM FRIENDS
There is a host of women’s organizations designed to help provide money, technical assistance and sisterly advice. Among the most notable women’s groups are:
Women’s Self-Employment Project
20 N. Clark St., Suite 400 Chicago, IL 60602 312-606-8255 312-606-9215 (fax)
WSEP is a nonprofit group that provides training, technical assistance and micro loans ($25,000 or less) aimed at low- and moderate-income women. It provides peer support and nontraditional lending through its Full Circle Fund program and referrals to sister organizations. Course and membership fees vary based on income.
Small Business Administration Office of Women’s Business Ownership
409 Third St. SW, Suite 4400 Washington, DC 20416 800-8ASK-SBA www.sba.gov/womeninbusiness
The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership provides training, counseling and networking services to help women start or expand businesses. OWBO also offers information about local and national resources. Specialized services include financial assistance and business development training. Also, the Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial Training is a yearlong mentoring program that links start-up entrepreneurs with seasoned business owners.
National Association For Female Executives
135 W. 50th St., 16th Floor New York, NY 10020 800-634-NAFE 212-445-6228 (fax) www.nafe.com
NAFE provides networking, education and public advocacy, and has a host of programs including career, personal, financial, business and corporate services. For $29 a year, members receive various consumer discounts and business services. Also available for $15.00 is the NAFE Guide to Starting Your Own Business: A Handbook For Entrepreneurial Women by Marilyn Manning and Patricia Haddock.
Women’s Business Development Center
8 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 400 Chicago, IL 60603 312-853-3477 312-853-0145 (fax) www.wbdc.com
WBDC provides individualized consulting, business training, financial support and technical assistance. It hosts workshops on starting a business, including business plan development, and sponsors an annual entrepreneurial conference. WBDC also has a certification program, Women’s Business Enterprise Initiative, for women seeking government and corporate procurement contracts. Membership is free but there is a $200 fee to participate in the certification program.
Businees and Professional Women/USA and Foundation
2012 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC 20036 202-293-1100 202-861-0298 (fax) www.bpwusa.org
BPW/USA is an information and advocacy group that promotes equity for women in the workplace. It offers a variety of scholarships and loans to help women pursue undergraduate and graduate education to achieve career advancement. BPW also puts out a resource guide on starting a business. Local dues vary by state. Annual national association dues are $31, $50 for members-at-large and $10 for student members.
The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs
1806 New Hampshire Ave. NW Washington, DC 20009 202-483-4206 202-462-7253 (fax) www.nanbpwc.org
NANBPWC publishes its own guide to starting a business, hosts monthly workshops on finance, marketing and management, and provides a referral service for