Small business associations and similar organizations can be excellent resources for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to network, build their brand, get real-world advice from other professionals, and access tools to help them achieve greater success. If you’re looking for small business associations or other groups that are worth joining, we’ve rounded up some suggestions here that are known for being particularly helpful.
Best Small Business Associations
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the government’s well-known group for small business operators. Of course, it offers plenty of resources and SBA loans, but it also has regional offices and community groups through which you can take classes, connect directly with other local entrepreneurs, find new business opportunities, and more.
- SCORE is connected to the SBA, but it’s its own group and it’s worth knowing about. It’s free and gives you access to business mentors across the US, as well as informative workshops.
- Your local Chamber of Commerce is an excellent resource if you serve a local market. It’s one of the best small business associations for connecting to other business owners in your area, finding new customers or clients, and getting access to a variety of perks, such as workshops, newsletters, shipping discounts, etc.
- United States Minority Chamber of Commerce is a similar organization specifically for minority business owners, providing access to all sort of resources to help grow a business.
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is another group for minority business owners looking for help starting, running, or financing their company.
- Small Business Owners Meetup is Meetup.com’s section specifically for—you guessed it—small business owners. This is a great way to network with other local professionals.
- The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) has about 350,000 members around the country. It lobbies for small business interests at the state and local levels, and offers members access to a variety of online forums, discounts, events, and more.
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) self-identifies as “the only global network exclusively for entrepreneurs.” Joining provides access to peer-to-peer learning platforms, mentorship programs, networking opportunities with industry experts, and other benefits.
- StartupNation isn’t just for startups. This is one of the leading small business associations for learning about how to more successfully run a business, and it’s strongly connected to entrepreneurial life.
- eWomen Network is a great group for female business owners, offering educational opportunities, networking, meetups, and other perks. There are more than 115 chapters around the US and Canada, and it has over 2,000 members.
- Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is another useful option for female business owners. It offers a wide range of benefits for women who are just starting out with their company, and those who’ve been at it for a while.
- Many industry and trade associations offer a wide range of events, conferences, workshops, directories, discounts, and other benefits. Look into those that are relevant to your business.