Networking is a valuable business tool for every woman business leader. Not only is it a chance to meet new people—i.e., potential clients and customers—but it’s also an opportunity to expand your business “know-how” and experiences.
As a women entrepreneur, it’s sometimes easy to get stuck in your office handling the demands of your business alone or with a small team.
Imagine if you were surrounded by many successful business women in one space – exchanging new ideas, sharing best practices and discussing how to overcome business challenges.
You now have the power of many like-minded business women linked by a common goal: making their business more successful. Backed by this network of dedicated and engaged business women, you can crowdsource new ideas and get real-world feedback from others who face the same business issues as you.
Most importantly, networking builds business relationships that can be invaluable now and into the future. Network contacts can enhance every aspect of your business’ potential. You might meet: professionals who have already handled similar hardships, a new strategic partner, a new customer, or even a new employee. The more you invest to build your network now, the better.
If like many successful women leaders, you’re excited to grow your network, but aren’t sure where to get started, check out these networking resources.
You may be surprised by how many opportunities are right outside your front door.
- Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance: Networking and learning opportunities for women in accounting and finance.
- American Business Women’s Association: Networking and learning for women in more than 300 cities across the U.S.
- Association for Women in Communication: Networking and learning events for women in communications professions. Member and non-member options available.
- Dames Collective: Open to all female entrepreneurs; membership options available but membership is not mandatory.
- Ellevate Network: Member and non-member networking and learning events across the U.S.
- eWomenNetwork: Networking events for female entrepreneurs.
- Financial Women’s Association: Workshops, events and networking for women in the financial industry; member and non-member options available.
- Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association: Networking and learning events for women in healthcare.
- Ladies America: Networking events to support “women helping women.”
- Lean In Circles: Small networking groups who meet regularly to provide support and learn new skills. “It’s a place where members can be unapologetically ambitious.”
- National Association of Female Executives: Local chapters with monthly networking meetings.
- Organization of Women in International Trade: Educational programs and networking events for women in international trade.
- She Runs It: Networking and educational events for all professional women.
- Women’s National Book Association: Membership-based chapters offering networking and learning events.
- Women Presidents Organization: Networking and learning within 137 chapters across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Portugal, Turkey, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
Networking Groups for Everyone
- Alumni Organizations: Check with your school’s alumni organization.
- Association of Latino Professionals for America: Networking and professional development events for Latino professionals.
- Business Executives Networking Group: Members-only group for mid- to senior-level professionals.
- Business Networking International (BNI): Members-only group that drives referrals and only allows one person in each chapter for each profession.
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization: Members-only monthly learning and networking events.
- EventBrite: Search engine for local networking events.
- Financial Executives Networking Group: Members-only group for senior financial professionals.
- LeTip: Members-only group that drives referrals and only allows one person in each chapter for each profession.
- Local Chamber of Commerce: Check local websites or call for events.
- MeetUp: Search engine for local networking events and groups.
- ProVisors: Members-only, exclusive networking group that’s meant to drive cross-referral opportunities.
- Rotary: Networking and professional development.
- SCORE: Local chapters with events, networking and learning opportunities.
- Technology Executives Networking Group: Members only networking for senior-level IT executives who hold the rank of Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, vice president or director of technology in organizations of all sizes and industries.
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Search for local networking and learning opportunities.