Networking Groups for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

Most aspiring entrepreneurs know that networking is essential to success, but many aren’t sure how to go about making professional connections. Luckily, the business world is full of groups and organizations that are specifically designed to build relationships. Here are seven networking groups you should consider joining if you want to fast-track your career through meaningful connections.

Your Local Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a branch in every community, and these organizations serve a major role in promoting local business interests. Signing up will make it easier to participate actively in your local business community. You’ll also make important connections with the types of influential people who can give your entrepreneurial career a boost.

Chief

Chief is one of several organizations dedicated specifically to supporting women in business. If you’re a female entrepreneur, then you can join this group to connect with talented peers. Members include local startup founders and heavy hitters who run massive companies. There’s no better space for interacting with talented women, some of whom could even become your mentors.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)

As its name suggests, the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) is designed to bring entrepreneurs together. Founded in 1987, the organization has grown into a massive global network with over 17,000 members. This international scope makes EO a great choice for anyone whose ambitions exist on a global scale.

SCORE

Backed by the U.S Small Business Association, SCORE matches people with supportive, enthusiastic mentors. Having a mentor is a massive advantage for anyone new to entrepreneurship, but it can be hard to find a supportive, experienced person organically. With SCORE, you can connect with someone whose experiences match your desired career path and then build a relationship from there.

Business Networking International (BNI)

Referrals are a huge part of networking, and Business Networking International brings referral marketing to a global scale. The organization has over 10,000 chapters around the world, giving it a further reach than almost any other referral-focused association. If your business relies on referrals for landing new clients, then this is certainly a group worth joining.

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)

Navigating life as an entrepreneur is often complicated, which makes the National Association for the Self-Employed an extremely valuable resource. The group provides self-employed entrepreneurs with educational opportunities, many centered around accessing healthcare, navigating bureaucracy, and paying taxes. The organization will also give grants and loans to qualifying members. If you need help with the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship, then this is the group that can give you support.

Groups on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is designed to be a networking platform, and it serves its function to perfection. There’s no better place on the internet for meeting entrepreneurs, clients, and influential people from all over the world. While the entire LinkedIn community might be overwhelmingly large, you can narrow your focus by joining specific groups. All you have to do is search for a group that matches your career path, then ask to join. From there, connecting with fascinating peers should be easy.

Linkedin is designed to be a networking platform, and it serves its function to perfection. There’s no better place on the internet for meeting entrepreneurs, clients, and influential people from all over the world. While the entire linkedin community might be overwhelmingly large, you can narrow your focus by joining specific groups. All you have to do is searcb for a group that matches your career path, then ask to join. From there, connecting with fascinating peers should be easy.

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