Business associations provide entrepreneurs with helpful resources ranging from mentorship to industry-specific forms and guides. A small business association can range from a fairly general one aimed at helping an array of entrepreneurs to one specific to a single industry or local community. So if you’re interested in taking advantage of the benefits offered by business associations, here are some to consider.
The Big List of Small Business Associations
U.S. Small Business Administration
Technically a government entity, the SBA does offer resources ranging from loans to contracting guidance. The local SBA offices also offer community groups that you can join to get even more tailored assistance.
SCORE is also technically an arm of the SBA. But it offers its own separate set of benefits, ranging from educational workshops to a mentorship network for businesses around the country.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a nationwide organization that advocates for business issues in Washington and provides research, special events and other resources to help businesses of all sizes.
The National Federation for Independent Businesses features a network of more than 300,000 small business owners that offers advocacy, research and member benefits like HR support.
International Council for Small Business
For those looking for an association with a focus on the global economy, the International Council for Small Business hosts events and webinars and advocates for businesses while looking to improve the global economy.
Entrepreneurs’ Organization is an association that hosts events in local communities around the world, offers a mentorship program and an accelerator for growing businesses.
National Business Association
The National Business Association is a non-profit organization that provides strategic support and advocacy specifically designed for small businesses and self-employed individuals.
The National Small Business Association is an advocacy group specifically for small business. The group also hosts events and performs research.
StartUpNation is an organization that provides business services including web development, incorporation and consulting. There’s also a community aspect and a radio show.
National Association for the Self-Employed
For solopreneurs or self-employed individuals, NASE offers resources for things like taxes, management and marketing.
An organization for leaders, Toastmasters provides educational opportunities and events aimed at helping business owners and other professionals hone their skills.
Business Network International is a networking organization that gives members access to local chapters where they can create partnerships with other entrepreneurs, as well as events and other resources for making those connections.
The Conference Board
The Conference Board provides insights and research publications for businesses in select regions around the world.
A global network of entrepreneurs, InBia provides members with access to information about business incubators, accelerator programs and other opportunities for education and growth.
Women’s Business Development Center
For women business owners, many local communities offer Women’s Business Development Centers, which are affiliated with the SBA, to offer resources and mentorship opportunities.
Minority Chamber of Commerce
In select communities, the Minority Chamber of Commerce provides one-on-one counseling, assistance with contracting opportunities and other resources for minority business owners.
For veteran business owners, NAVOBA provides assistance to help those entrepreneurs connect with corporations for contracting opportunities.
National Hispanic Business Group
Designed to help Hispanic business owners grow, the National Hispanic Business Group provides events, resources and even an education fund for entrepreneurs.
For student entrepreneurs, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship offers a quarterly journal, training opportunities and an exclusive community listserv.
The Indus Entrepreneurs
TiE is a global network of entrepreneurs started in Silicon Valley that fosters entrepreneurship around the world through networking and mentorship opportunities.
International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association provides franchise owners with opportunities, events and access to a network of other business owners.
National Restaurant Association
For restaurant owners, the National Restaurant Association is an industry organization that advocates and provides resources specifically for growing restaurant businesses.
National Retail Federation
Another industry association, the NRF represents retailers from around the U.S. and other countries around the world and offers research and insights.
ANA Business Marketing
For B2B businesses and marketers, ANA Business Marketing offers training, development, events and local chapters.
For agricultural businesses, Farm Foundation advocacy and analysis to advance the farming industry and help businesses grow.
United States Telecom Association
USTelecom is an organization that advocates for businesses in the broadband and telecommunications industry.
An organization that’s focused on social change, Ashoka supports socially conscious businesses that are committed to making change in key areas.
The Center for Association Leadership provides advocacy, business services and a variety of resources for business owners and organizational leadership.
Local Chambers of Commerce
In addition to the nationwide organization, many local communities also feature their own Chamber of Commerce organizations that offer guidance and resources specifically tailored to the market and issues of the local community.
Have we missed any small business associations you would add to the list? Please let us know in the comment section below.
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