Resources for Women Business Owners
There is a common misconception that little to no resources exist for women entrepreneurs in North Dakota.
Financing, leadership, training, management…you name it. Many believe these are hard to find.
But as an entity that works with countless entrepreneurs, we have seen North Dakota come together and provide for women entrepreneurs more than ever before. While many believe the challenge to find these resources still exists, we are here to “de-bunk” that myth and highlight a few resources available to help women business owners on their journey.
- Partnerships: Women business owners are surrounded by one of the most basic and key resources that can help them along their journey: partnerships. Many women partner with friends, colleagues, or spouses on business ventures, building a network of likeminded individuals who can support them as they grow. These partnerships often help alleviate stressors that come with owning a business and provide an opportunity for small business owners to work together in a way that is mutually beneficial.
- Unique Financing Programs: There are several nontraditional financing programs available in North Dakota for women business owners. Among these is the SBA 504 loan program, a loan program that offers a minimum 10% down payment, up to 25-year term options, and below-market fixed interest rates for long-term fixed assets such as real estate and equipment. You can find more information on eligibility, rates, and terms here.
- Learning Workshops: North Dakota has a multitude of learning workshops for women entrepreneurs who are looking to start or expand their own business. From writing a business plan and managing your business, to financing, human resources, and leadership, the variety of topics is widespread, providing opportunities for women business owners to learn no matter what stage their business is in. If you are wondering where to start, you can check out ACTIVATE Women – a learning workshop series that has hosted more than 40 sessions in 5 cities, helping entrepreneurs learn from local experts about a variety of business topics.
- North Dakota Women's Business Center (a program of CTB): One of the best kept secrets for women entrepreneurs in North Dakota is the NDWBC. This business program helps women through their journey of business ownership, regardless of what stage of business they are in. With resources available across the state, the NDWBC offers a variety of programs, workshops, networking events, trainings, and business counseling services perfect for women professionals who are looking to start, grow, or expand their business. Learn more about NDWBC here.
- Resource Partners Some other key resource partners that exist in North Dakota include:
- Small Business Administration (SBA) – provides capital, counseling, and contracting services to small business owners and entrepreneurs in pursuit of the American dream
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – assists entrepreneurs with business plan development, start-up/expansion logistics, financial projections, and market research in preparation to start or expand a business
- SCORE – connects entrepreneurs with a network of volunteer, business experts to serve as mentors throughout their business ventures
- Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) – grants service members, veterans, and military spouses’ access to training workshops, advising, and mentoring throughout their small business journey
- Networking – Lastly, one of the easiest and most important you can do to grow your business is to network with other women entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Annual Women’s Business Summit and Annual Women’s Business Conference are two of the many events for women in ND. Networking at events like these can open up new opportunities and connections, as well as help continue to build a network of support for you as your journey along your business venture.
The next time you hear someone mention the lack of resources for women business owners, encourage them to look up one of these resources and try them out.
These resources can help transform women entrepreneurs from dreamers to do-ers as they embark on the path of business ownership and success in North Dakota.