It takes a special kind of person to be a business owner. Owning and managing a business needs the right mindset, commitment, and a deep passion. Studies show that business owners are at higher risk for entrepreneur loneliness, stress, and burnout. Being part of a supportive community protects against these downsides of being an entrepreneur. This is the benefit of joining an entrepreneurship organization. Read on to understand what these are, how to find them, and the benefits of being a member.
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What are entrepreneurship organizations?
It’s like a club, but only for business owners. They are generally designed to provide entrepreneurs with support, communication, education, and networking. These can be very broad, or segmented. For example, an entrepreneurship organization may be very local or regional, just for people living in a specific geographic area. Or, a group may only accept members based on certain criteria. Perhaps the group is just for women. Or members must have been in business for a certain number of years, or have reached a threshold of annual revenue.
Why join an entrepreneurship organization?
If you are still wondering if it’s worth it, here are the 4 top benefits joining an entrepreneurship organization.
Connect with people who share common ground. Maybe they are in the same sector but in a different geographic market, so you can freely share tips and ideas. Or they are a provider or supplier with expertise that your organization needs. At the very least, you have entrepreneurship in common. Also, networking develops relationships and connections, which creates business opportunities and growth experiences.
Many entrepreneurship organizations have structured mentorship programs. This could be a set number of meetings with a mentor selected for you, based on their experience and background. In addition, there may be informal guidance programs to help members start, grow, and scale. Also, being introduced to a mentor who can steer you through the challenges you face is a key benefit of joining an entrepreneurship organization.
Education is key at every stage of growing and managing a business. Obviously, books are helpful to build skills and grasp new concepts. Additionally, workshops, keynotes, and conferences are valuable opportunities to learn and grow as an entrepreneur. Many entrepreneurship organizations offer education programs to showcase the expertise of members and develop the skills of the whole community.
Certainly, businesses need access to more money at some stage. Some entrepreneurship organizations facilitate introductions to government grants, loans, or venture capital investors.
How to find an entrepreneurship organization
Although social media and Google can help find an entrepreneurship organization, here is a list of groups to consider to help you get started.
The EO calls itself the world’s only peer-to-peer network exclusively for entrepreneurs. Their mission is to transform the lives of those who transform the world.
This UK organization is dedicated to supporting small businesses achieve their goals. They offer advice, financial planning expertise, support, and advocacy.
For American small businesses, this entrepreneurship organization provides access to services, benefits, and resources.
With a focus on providing access to loans and grants, the SBA is dedicated to supporting small businesses as they start and grow.
This UK organization is a member of the international FCEM, which has 5 million members in over 120 countries. Founded back in 1945, they are dedicated to connect entrepreneurial women for solidarity, friendship, and education. The organization in the USA calls itself a one-stop resource for women business owners.
The tagline of this group is “Driven by ambition. Empowered by community.” They take a holistic approach to provide its members with skillbuilding and support both professionally and personally.
This organization is for the global startup community. They have chapters in 600 cities across 125 countries. Their goal is to give startups education, opportunities, and access to the resources that will support their growth.
Business Networking International provides weekly networking without competition. Each chapter allows only one member per category of business. This provides a wider range of networking opportunities and ensures that all referrals for your product or service will flow to you.
Overall, business owners can expect many benefits from joining an entrepreneurship organization. As shown above, it creates opportunities to access information, ideas, support, and funding. Therefore, the return on the investment of time and money is well worth it. Furthermore, being part of a community of like-minded people can build friendships, networking and business opportunities.