Idea Exchange: Resources for Women and Minority Business Owners
by JimD, Former Moderator
- Created: September 2, 2010, 9:00 am
- Updated: January 31, 2011, 4:40 pm
Historically women and minority business owners have been underrepresented in the business world, but there are many resources that try to help change that. For the month of August, Business.gov asked its Community members “What government resources have you found in your community or on the web that help women or minorities...
Here are the recommendations from the Community on resources they have found useful.
Many agencies and organizations have formed offices all over the United States. For some people, getting that face time with another individual helps them to get their questions answered.
Women’s Business Centers (WBC)
dkermani is the Director at the WBC at Florida Tech and she recommend using WBCs. These centers are a SBA program that provides management and technical assistance to entrepreneurs, especially women who are economically and socially disadvantaged. dkermani also mentions how the WBCs are unique and can adapt to the needs of its clients and communities.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
MBDA is focused on increasing access to capital, contracts, and new markets for minority-owned firms. There are over 40 Business Development Centers, most of which are located due large concentrations of minority populations. You can find a MBDA office near you.
Small Business Development Centers (SDBC)
ebeasley has found that her SBDC has provided her with support on marketing, web-site design, contracts, business formations, and much more. The SBDC is one of the SBA’s programs to help give small business owners a “one-stop” place for assistance.
Dewita says that SCORE has been extremely useful. Each year SCORE helps almost 20,000 businesses get started. There are 364 chapters throughout the US with 12,400 volunteers – made up of retired executives - to answer questions that small business owners have. In addition to their local offices, SCORE also answers questions online through their Ask SCORE program*.
City’s Chamber of Commerce
Many Chambers of Commerce offer resources for doing business in a city, town, or community. These can be very helpful since they have firsthand knowledge of your area. This can also be a great resource to get to know other business owners in your area and expand your network.
Local Government (City Councils or Boards)
p0pper23 found a grant from his local government that helped him get started. This will vary from area to area, but it is something to look into when you are getting started with your business. Business.gov has a list of many local resources in the State and Local section.
Many government agencies are expanding their online presence to give people more thorough information in a more timely matter.
Business.gov is the US Government’s official website for small businesses. Business.gov provides small business owners with information and resources they need to comply with laws and regulations, and to take advantage of government programs and services to help them start, expand and run their businesses.
The Small Business Administration offers many of its resources online. From planning, financing, starting, registering, and running your business, SBA.gov has the information that can help.
AtAustin720 suggested USA.gov as a great starting point for any small business owner to find more general information about the Federal, State, Local, and Tribal governments. USA.gov also has contact information for government agencies and other online initiatives.
State and Local Websites
All states and many localities have websites for government resources. The amount of information and services vary depending on the area and the current administration.
What’s Next for the Idea Exchange?
The current idea exchange “What successes and challenges have you experienced with exporting?” will run until September 30. Please submit your thoughts and vote on the ideas you agree with by clicking Kudos!
*Indicates a non-government website
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