Published December 22, 2021 by WC Team

18 Best Small Business Associations For Entrepreneurs In 2021

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18 Small Business Associations: Overview

As a small business owner, you know your firm inside out. But as a beginner, you might want assistance and guidance. No need to worry though because a business association is all you need. Joining a small business organization is one of the wisest actions you can do to develop new skills and explore new avenues for your small business.

Fortunately, a number of small business associations exist to guide you, and give access to the resources you’ll need to expand your firm and become the smartest entrepreneur. Connecting with other like-minded entrepreneurs will expose you to a plethora of small business expertise and experience when you need help or inspiration for your firm. 

The Best Small Business Associations

1. SCORE 

SCORE is theoretically related to the SBA, but it deserves to be mentioned independently.

SCORE is a free nationwide network of business mentors. These mentors volunteer to assist small company owners like you in developing and growing business ideas.

According to SCORE, company owners who get three or more hours of mentorship report greater income and growth.  So, no matter what kind of small business you run, SCORE might be the small business organization that propels you to the next level of success.

2. Meetup.com

Meetup.com may appear to be a large global social networking platform, yet websites like Meetup might be one of the greatest small business associations for you. 

Meetup.com is not a small business organization in the traditional sense; anybody may utilize the site. However, there is a component of the website dedicated to small enterprises. 

Use this platform to connect with other entrepreneurs who understand your challenges and requirements to succeed. Meet with other small company owners to exchange ideas, learn about other firms' methods, get advice, and possibly locate clients and partners you might not have found otherwise.

3. NFIB

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) may appear to be an official organization that cannot possibly benefit your little business; but it is nevertheless worthwhile to join.

The NFIB represents about 350,000 small business members. Their primary goal is to advocate for small company concerns at the local and federal levels. However, as a member, you will also have access to their small business discounts, events, online forums, and so on.

Overall, the NFIB is entirely dedicated to small company owners. Their networking events, entrepreneurial resources, and small company research foundations might benefit you.

4. Entrepreneurs’ Organization

Entrepreneurs' Organization, or EO, is one of the oldest small business organizations in existence, founded in 1987. EO describes itself as "the only global network dedicated solely to entrepreneurs".

Connect with industry experts, peer-to-peer learning platforms, and mentoring programs through this organization. 

Over 12,000 members of EO volunteer to help entrepreneurs that are just starting or are far into their small business. If you join, you may discover a helpful mentor or partner to assist you in growing your business.

5. American Express Shop Small Forum

American Express' Shop Small Forum isn't exactly a small business association, but it can be a very useful resource for small business owners who have American Express business credit cards.

As a member of the Shop Small Forum, you'll have access to a collection of business-related information and guides. 

You'll also be invited to a series of webinars and in-person events where you can get small business assistance and do some valuable networking. 

6. Women’s Business Development Center

The Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) is one of the largest women-centered small business associations in the United States, supporting and promoting women-owned businesses.

The WBDC is an excellent resource for new and established female business owners. The WBDC offers courses, online forums, resource centers, and business education initiatives to all businesswomen. 

If you're seeking small company loans for women, look into their access to the capital program. The WBDC and eWomenNetwork are only two of the numerous small business organizations for women. 

If you're seeking more, here's a comprehensive list of resources for female small company entrepreneurs.

7. Minority Business Development Agency

The Minority Business Development Agency is another small group for minority small business owners.

The Minority Business Development Agency provides several resources to minority entrepreneurs trying to establish, run, or fund their firms. Use their seminars, manuals, and research library to discover how to build your business and make it a success.

8. SBA Office of Veterans Business Development

The Office of Veterans Business Development aims to increase veterans' access to small business initiatives. 

The SBA program can put you in touch with government committees, entrepreneurial training, outreach centers, business training tools, and other resources.

The Office of Veterans Business Development should be a go-to location for veteran small firm owners looking for a range of beneficial services to assist them in building their business. 

In addition, if you're seeking veteran small business loans, the Office of Veterans Business Development is a good place to start.

9. Ashoka

Ashoka is the world's biggest network of social entrepreneurs that operate small businesses. Nearly 3,000 people from 70 countries are members of the group.

Ashoka may link you to a local business partner, give important recommendations and advice for building your enterprise and engaging with additional people, and expose you to local business events and initiatives.

10. Small Business Administration Community Groups

You can go to the SBA's regional and district offices for various business resources and help. 

Perhaps you'd like to network with other business owners, learn about small business financing, take classes, or connect with new business opportunities. 

The SBA is a fantastic resource for all things small companies, so take advantage of all the SBA has to offer—both online and in your local region.

11. Your Local Chamber of Commerce

If your company caters to a small, local market, you should strongly consider joining your chamber of commerce's local small business organization. 

Signing up with your chamber of commerce may incur a little price, but it is worth it. Your local chamber of commerce is one of the greatest small business groups for small businesses that offer B2B. 

You'll also have access to professional development courses, small business publications, and FedEx shipping discounts as a member.

12. Industry And Trade Associations

Joining small company groups devoted to certain sectors and trades is a wonderful way to remain current on what's going on in your industry. 

Most industry and trade groups will provide online and offline services, such as events, conferences, directories, and education centers.

You could even earn discounts on company purchases, insurance, or other perks if you join one of these small business groups, so there's no excuse not to join your industry or trade association. 

13. BNI

BNI, or Business Network International, is one of the greatest small business groups for entrepreneurs who want to get serious about networking. 

BNI is a franchised networking group with over 7,500 chapters for networking gatherings for small company owners, so there's certain to be one near you.

BNI membership differs from those of other small business organizations. To join BNI, you must apply and be authorized, and only one person from each industry is permitted in each group and session. 

So, if you are accepted, it might be beneficial to your small business. You will be the industry's representative voice, and your small firm will appear more authoritative as a result.

14. StartUp Nation

StartUp Nation is one of the top small business groups for new and seasoned small company owners seeking assistance in managing a successful small business. 

Entrepreneurs themselves created StartUp Nation, thus its leaders and members have a unique understanding of the challenges of running a small firm.

Startup Nation even has a radio station and a video series with industry experts. Tune in and listen to leaders addressing topics related to your small company.

15. eWomenNetwork

If you are a female small company owner, eWomenNetwork is the greatest women's small business association to join. 

If networking is your primary reason for joining a small business group, eWomenNetwork is an excellent resource for connecting with female entrepreneurs. 

You may attend their conferences, meetings, and seminars through their small business organization. You can utilize their online member search engine to identify other businesswomen who can help you.

16. Minority Chamber of Commerce

The Minority Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that assists minority small business owners in learning business management skills, networking with other professionals, and connecting with specialized suppliers. 

Membership in the Minority Chamber of Commerce is not free, but it will offer you vital tools for your small business if you join.

17. NaVOBA

Small business entrepreneurs should also look at the National Veteran-Owned Business Association. The group has excellent networking opportunities and a list of veteran small business owners and encourages customers to shop at veteran-owned small businesses.

18. National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association provides guidance over restaurant management. It keeps you updated with the news and activities of the restaurant industry, and links you to networking events and organizations. 

The National Restaurant Association is a good resource for restaurant operators as it is a one stop solution for all their potential queries and requirements. 

The Bottom Line

The number of small business associations for general and particular enterprises and sectors is endless. 

So, if you need help developing your small business or want to connect with other business owners who are also in the trenches of operating a firm, you have a wealth of tools at your disposal.

There are no disadvantages to becoming a member of any small business organization. Some may demand a membership fee but consider this: finding an indispensable business partner—or even a devoted customer—is well worth the expense of joining a small business group.

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