oining entrepreneur organization can be a great way to boost your trailblazing career.
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road, and connecting with fellow self-employed professionals can help you expand your network and build a supportive community.
Entrepreneur organizations may be a good option for entrepreneurs looking for additional connections and resources.
I wish I’d had access to an entrepreneur organization when I started my business. The first few years of self-employment were rough for me. I felt disconnected from my employed peers and struggled to find others that understood the unique stressors entrepreneurship can present. Joining entrepreneur organizations really helped me feel more connected and provided a great group of colleagues and mentors to help me along my entrepreneurial journey.
Here are a few entrepreneur organizations that you should consider joining:
Chamber of Commerce
Most populated communities in the United States are home to a local Chamber of Commerce. While there’s not a lot of consistency in these localized organizations, the Chamber may offer education and networking opportunities in your area. I’ve been a member of several chambers (military family – we moved around a lot) and found some Chambers to be worthwhile. Depending on your location and industry, joining the Chamber of Commerce may be beneficial.
For more information: https://www.uschamber.com/ .
Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization
If you’re in college and even a little bit interested in entrepreneurship, you need to join the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO). CEO is a national student organization that works to provide student entrepreneurs with conferences, events, and opportunities that can help them launch their own business. Today, CEO has over 200 chapters located at colleges and universities all across the United States.
For more information: https://www.c-e-o.org/ .
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is an international network of over 10,000 business owners in 48 different countries. They offer a number of benefits for their members – everything from local chapters to discounts on health insurance. EO does have minimum revenue requirements for membership – $1 million in annual revenue in the most recent fiscal year.
For more information: https://www.eonetwork.org/ .
International Council for Small Business
The International Council for Small Business (ICSB) is the oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship. Operating on a global scale, ICSB works to connect its members with a variety of international resources and business networks that can help grow their company. ICSB is located in the George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C. and has a long established history of championing the needs of entrepreneurs. They offer a number of educational events, including webinars, that are worth exploring.
For more information: https://icsb.org/ .
National Association of Business Owners & Entrepreneurs
The National Association of Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (NABOE) works to equip business leaders to succeed in the rapidly-changing business climate. A relatively new organization, NABOE offers a number of in-person educational events primarily located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. All NABOE events are open to the public and reasonably priced. If you’re an entrepreneur living in DC, check out NABOE’s next workshop!
For more information: https://www.naboe.org/ .
National Association for the Self Employed
The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) offers a bunch of free tools and resources for their self-employed members, including the hookup on health insurance for entrepreneurs. NASE was founded in the 1980’s with the original goal of helping small business owners achieve economies of scale through collective organizational membership. Their mission has expanded to include a number of member benefits designed to help entrepreneurs grow their business.
For more information: https://www.nase.org/.
National Association of Women Business Owners
Looking for an entrepreneur organization for female entrepreneurs?
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has you covered! NAWBO offers educational events, networking, and legislative advocacy for women business owners all across the United States. They have multiple chapters and host a number of events. If you’re a female business owner, you’re going to want to get involved with NAWBO.
For more information: https://www.nawbo.org/ .
National Federation of Independent Business
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is the “voice of small business”. They offer a number of educational and operational resources to their entrepreneurship members, including business advocacy, member discounts, and networking events. The NFIB resource center is a one-stop shop for all things entrepreneur.
For more information: https://www.nfib.com/ .
Social Enterprise Alliance
If you’re interested in making a difference through social entrepreneurship, the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA) is for you.
Founded in 1998, the SEA works to connect entrepreneurs in all sectors with the resources they need to make the world a better place. In addition to numerous educational resources, SEA maintains 17 local chapters and offers in-person events for networking and member learning.
For more information: https://socialenterprise.us/ .
The Startup Grind is a “global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs”. They offer a number of events, including a historically great conference line-up, along with network-rich local chapters in over 180 cities. While some of the other entrepreneur organizations listed required a revenue minimum, the Startup Grind is a come-as-you-are kind of organization that open to entrepreneurs in all stages of development (including those that are exploring entrepreneurship).
For more information: https://www.startupgrind.com .
Like many of the other entrepreneur organizations listed here, Small Giants offers a number of educational events, networking opportunities, and business-building resources to their members. Founded by entrepreneur Paul Spiegelman, Small Giants is a CEO community focused on the development of business leaders. Invite-only, but hey, reach out and maybe you’ll get an invite.
For more information: https://smallgiants.org/.
Another invite-only entrepreneur organization, the Tugboat Institute provides a fresh perspective on building sustainable companies in our ever-changing world. They offer a number of inspiring events and are well-reputed for their quality entrepreneur network. While financial performance isn’t the only criteria for membership, the Tugboat Institute does require a minimum of $5 million in revenue for entrepreneurs to be considered.
For more information: https://www.tugboatinstitute.com .
Founded in 1957, Vistage has over 23,000 members worldwide. Vistage works to provide mentorship and guidance to their members through educational programs and networking opportunities. They host a number of educational events all across the globe and have a well-established reputation as a quality entrepreneur organization dedicated to developing business leaders.
For more information: https://www.vistage.com/ .
Young Entrepreneur Council
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization that offers resources and support for all stages of business development. Open to entrepreneurs under the age of 45, YEC strives to equip the next generation of entrepreneurial trailblazers with the tools they need to make their organization a success. The only catch? Your business must be generating a minimum of $1 million in annual revenue.
For more information: https://yec.co/ .
Young President’s Organization
Founded way, way back in 1950, the Young President’s Organization (YPO) is the hub for young (under 45 years of age) entrepreneurs that are at the forefront of sizable, well-established companies (translation: they have minimum revenue requirements for membership). YPO conducts and published extensive research, hosts engaging networking events, and even offers couple’s retreats for married self-employed professionals.
For more information: https://www.ypo.org/ .