Women face a rough road when trying to start businesses in traditionally male-dominated fields. Luckily, there are more resources today than ever before. Whether it’s addressing issues of equal compensation, finding like-minded investors to secure funding, or building a support network, here are six organizations that are doing their part to help female entrepreneurs thrive.
National Association of Women Business Owners
Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) positions itself as “the unified voice of over 9 million women-owned businesses in the United States” and is the only dues-based organization representing the interests of women entrepreneurs across all industries. NAWBO has chapters across the country and provides a wealth of resources and hosts events for its members.
National Center for Women and Information Technology
The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) is a nonprofit community of more than 650 universities, companies, and government organizations working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources to encourage women to seek careers in tech.
National Association of Professional Women
The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) is quite broad in its focus, developing a community for “dynamic, intelligent, accomplished women from varying backgrounds and fields.” With more than 850,000 members and 200 chapters nationally, NAPW offer a combination of online and in-person networking opportunities, career services and educational tools.
Business and Professional Women’s Foundation
The Business and Professional Women’s Foundation (BPW) describes itself as “the first foundation dedicated to conducting research and providing information solely about working women.” The organization’s goal is to create successful workplaces that “embrace and practice diversity, equity, and work-life balance.” BPW is unique in that the foundation combines research, policy, resources, and programming to create systemic change.
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), a nonprofit founded in 1997, provides certification for businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. Certified businesses are then able to market themselves to thousands of companies looking to work with woman-owned firms.
Astia identifies high-potential, female-led ventures through a personalized referral system. Once selected, firms are linked to advisors and resources to help secure funding. Through the synergies of Astia, Astia Angels, and the Astia Fund, select companies poised for high-growth delivery are provided capital runway via initial and follow-on venture investment.