The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that works with independent businesses and entrepreneurs. Many organizations have chapters in other countries, so finding the right one for you may be easier than you think. In fact, the SBA is an excellent resource if you're starting a small business. You can find a member near you by searching for their name online. Once you have found a local chapter, you can learn more about their programs and how to get involved.
eWomenNetwork is a women's small business association
If you're a woman in business, you might want to consider joining the largest women's small business association, eWomenNetwork. Founded in 2000, eWomenNetwork now represents over 2,000 women-owned businesses nationwide. There are 118 eWomenNetwork chapters nationwide, and there are likely a few close to you. Here are some benefits of becoming a member.
SCORE is a network of professionals who offer one-on-one mentoring to women in business. Mentors are able to answer specific questions about running a business, as well as abstract questions about future directions. Mentors are available at any stage of the business cycle, helping professional women gain valuable experience and leverage their success. In addition to SCORE, the eWomenNetwork chapter in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach will help local women expand their business contacts and boost their sales.
Another women's business association is the National Association of Woman Business Owners (NAWBO). This organization has been around since 1975 and provides support and education to thousands of women in business. Its resources include a forum for networking, workshops, and membership meetings. Members are able to share information, tips, and ideas with other members, which is especially beneficial for women in business. The association's mission is to provide a platform for women to share their successes and to empower other women in business.
National Federation for Independent Businesses is a network of more than 300,000 independent businesses
The National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB) is a nonprofit, membership-based organization of small business owners across the United States. They promote and advance the interests of small businesses by working to influence state and national public policy. Membership benefits include discounted health insurance and business forecasts, as well as ballots on important public policy issues. In addition to providing membership benefits, the NFIB also produces a bimonthly magazine, MyBusiness, and offers online updates on political priorities.
As a nonpartisan organization, the National Federation for Small Business advocates for small businesses, providing resources, contracting guidance, and access to resources. Other nonprofit organizations include the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), which holds events for small business owners. EO offers an accelerator and mentorship network. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports small businesses and advocates for business issues in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals. The National Federation for Independent Businesses is an advocacy organization of more than 300,000 small businesses and offers member benefits such as HR support.
The organization aims to promote a positive image of Main Street, and its executive team is press-savvy and has experience in high-level budget talks in Washington. Their executive staff members are highly sought after by government officials, and are in high demand at the White House. The National Federation for Independent Businesses has been a longtime leader in the small business advocacy field, and is well-funded and active across the country.
Minority Business Development Agency is an arm of the SBA
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is an organization dedicated to the development of small businesses in underrepresented communities. MBDA funds educational initiatives, such as a series of free web-based seminars on current business trends. MBDA also provides connections to contract opportunities and fosters networking among industry peers. This group is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Commerce and works to help strengthen the economy and improve the lives of all Americans.
The SBA provides a range of resources for minority entrepreneurs, including educational resources and loan programs. It also offers federal contracting opportunities to businesses that meet certain requirements. Specifically, businesses must be at least 51 percent minority-owned to be eligible. The company may be held in stock, bonds, or liquid assets. Qualifying minority groups include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Pacific/Subcontinent Asian Americans.
8(a) Business Development Program
The 8(a) Business Development Program for small businesses offers numerous advantages. The program is targeted at socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners and provides business assistance that is not readily available anywhere else. While an 8(a) certification does not automatically guarantee a federal contract, it does give participants unique opportunities to pursue a new government contract. Aside from the tax benefits, the program also offers training to help small business owners meet the strict eligibility requirements.
The 8(a) Business Development Program for small businesses is an ongoing process that requires participants to review their business plan with the SBA's Board of Trustees. They must also forecast the amount of contracts they will receive under the 8(a) program for the upcoming year. Aside from certification, 8(a) programs also provide access to SBA-guaranteed business loans, making them an ideal choice for many small businesses.
The 8(a) Business Development Program is a federal funding program that supports the growth of small businesses. Eligible firms are those with low-income and needy customers, and are owned by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals. The program also aims to increase the economic and social participation of underserved groups. Applicants must also be U.S. citizens or hold a certification from the SBA.
The 8(a) Program allows 8(a firms to compete for sole-source government contracts. The certification period lasts up to nine years, with the first four years considered as a development stage and the last five years as a transition phase. The continuation of certification is contingent on meeting all program requirements. As the federal government defines, 8(a) firms are socially and economically disadvantaged. They are often the only small businesses to obtain government contracts.
National Veteran-Owned Business Association
The National Veteran-Owned Business (VBE) certification is a symbol of excellence in the veteran business community. Businesses certified by the National Veteran-Owned Business Association have a unique advantage when it comes to competing with larger corporations. This gold standard is nationally recognized and helps companies know that they are doing business with a company that was founded by veterans. The following are benefits of VBE certification for businesses.
The VBE(tm) certification program is administered by the SBA's Office of Veteran Business Development, which maximizes the availability, applicability, and usability of veteran and service-disabled business certifications. The SBA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization offers information on veteran business opportunities and assists veterans in starting or growing a small business. While not every state offers these certifications, several have their own laws governing the participation of veteran and service-disabled businesses.
To become certified by the National Veteran-Owned Business Certification program, a business must meet certain requirements. First, a business must be owned and operated by a veteran. The business must be at least 51 percent veteran-owned and directly controlled by a disabled veteran. This person must hold a high-level position and have complete control over the company's day-to-day operations.
The Certified Veterans-Owned Logo is another way to increase the visibility of veteran-owned businesses. This logo is available to all companies providing products and services to NaVOBA's Corporate Allies. Businesses that are certified by the NaVOBA can proudly display the logo. Those companies with the highest certification ratings are the ones that are most likely to win business from government agencies. Therefore, it's a win-win situation for small businesses and veteran-owned businesses.