PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Top 5 Resources For Your Small Business

By at 18 April, 2018, 12:03 pm

By Kristie Arslan-

Whether you are launching a new business or looking to take your current business to the next level, here are five free resources to help you:

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)

SBDCs offer free business counseling and low-cost business training to prospective entrepreneurs and growing businesses.

● The SBDC network, which is a public private partnership with the U.S Small Business Administration has over 35 years of experience and SBDCs touch over 1 million small businesses every year.

● Whether it’s helping to write a business plan, access capital or SBA loans, or identify market opportunities including exporting, SBDC counselors can assist you. There are over 1,000 Small Business Development Centers across the country.

Visit: americassbdc.org to find your local center.

Women Business Centers (WBCs)

WBCs help women succeed in business by providing training, mentoring, business development and financing opportunities to women entrepreneurs each year in every state.

● There are over 100 Women Business Centers, often located near an SBDC.

● What makes WBCs unique is the focus on assisting women, especially in underserved areas, and the flexible counseling & training times that fit the needs of women.

Visit: awbc.org to find your local Women’s Business Center.

SCORE

SCORE is a nonprofit resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) providing free and confidential business advice through their network of volunteer business experts.

● You can meet with a mentor online or face-to-face. In addition they offer low or no cost workshops in SCORE offices.

● They have over 300 offices across the country.

● What makes them unique is that their experts are working or retired professionals. Many having worked for brand name companies and have critical expertise that small businesses would not often have access to.

● If you need help with marketing, financial management or franchising, you can request a SCORE mentor with the specific expertise you need.

Visit: score.org to request a mentor or find your local chapter.

SBA District Offices

These offices are responsible for the delivery of SBA’s many programs and services throughout the country.

● SBA District offices help educate and assist with SBA Loan programs, small business government contracting & exporting, and SBA initiatives for veteran, minority and women owned businesses.

Visit: sba.gov to find your SBA District Office.

Small Business Organizations

Industry or business organizations are a great resource for business owners, helping you stay up-to-date on industry innovations & training, state & federal policy, and providing business education on a whole host of topics.  In addition, they are a great way to network with other business owners in your area or in your industry.

● Seek out your local chambers and national business groups like the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council). Sin up for SBE Council’s “Small Business Insider” enews here, where small business owners are regularly alerted to resources, “how to” content and upcoming webinars and events that will help your small business grow and succeed.

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Kristie Arslan is SBE Council’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence and the co-owner of Popped! Republic Gourmet Popcorn in Alexandria, VA.

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