The Woman Entrepreneurs Toolbox: 100 Networking Resources, Guides and Links

Monday, August 20, 2007 at 1:37pm by Site Administrator

When a strong woman gets an idea in her head that she wants something, you can be sure that she’s going to make it happen. That’s why so many women are becoming wildly successful as entrepreneurs. Whether you’re designing a new product or a work at home mom launching an eBay storefront, this list is for you. Check out these resources for advice, information and tools to help you grow your business.

Blogs

For up-to-the minute information on topics that matter for female entrepreneurs, check out these blogs.

  1. Boss Lady: These business partners and best friends give women a guide to running a business as a woman. Features include profiles of women-run businesses, resources and commentary.
  2. Chronicles of a Mompreneur: Elizabeth at Chronicles of a Mompreneur offers readers insight on topics like being a working mom, turning your expertise into an empire, and more.
  3. Empower Women Now: Empower Women Now helps women bring their business online and develop an internet brand.
  4. Debby Peters, Networking Guru: Debby Peters coaches readers on how to network with others.
  5. Love Them Up and Keep Them Forever: This blog helps entrepreneurs understand the benefits of connecting with customers on a personal level.
  6. The Biz Chicks: The Biz Chicks offers news as well as a community for women in business.
  7. Diary of a Start-up Mom: This mom offers advice, reviews and resources for moms with start-ups.
  8. The Savvy Entrepreneur: Cristina Favreau helps other service-based entrepreneurs run and market their businesses successfully.
  9. Escape From Corporate America!: Laurel Delaney, author Escape From Corporate America, takes a look at why women are leaving big companies to strike out on their own.
  10. No Limits Ladies: The No Limits Ladies discuss financial strategies for women.
  11. Passion Meets Purpose: Kammie Kobyleski helps readers find passion in their businesses as well as daily lives.
  12. A Savvy Start: Follow the story of Lauren Berger, a young entrepreneur working to get her business off the ground.
  13. Sisters In Biz: Sisters In Biz offers news, profiles, and commentary for women of color in business.
  14. Startup Princess: Kelly King Anderson and friends invite readers to "make a wish, make it happen!"
  15. Family Friendly Work: Lori Long, author of The Parent’s Guide to Family Friendly Work, discusses balancing work and family life.
  16. Escape From Cubicle Nation: Escape From Cubicle Nation offers insight and advice from a woman who has been there. Pamela Slim, a successful entrepreneur, offers advice on how to leave your corporate job and do something that you love.
  17. The Anti 9-5 Guide: Michelle Goodman helps others escape the "golden handcuffs" and get into self-employed work.
  18. Mirror Mirror: This blogger discusses "bringing up a business and a baby."
  19. Freelance Mom: Lori Redfield tells readers how to make the most of your competition, build your business online and more.
  20. Mogulettes in the Making: The Mogulettes offer support for women who are launching their own business.
  21. The Inspired Market-Her’s Blog: This blog helps you learn how to market yourself and become profitable.

Tools

We’re sure you could build a business with your own two hands, but why should you have to? Get a little help with these cool tools and web applications.

  1. FreshBooks: Take the pain out of client billing with FreshBooks. This application makes it easy to track time, invoice and collect payments.
  2. Vstore: Take your products online with Vstore. This free, customizable storefront lets you sell your products online and keep 100% of the profits.
  3. Count Me In: This group provides micro-loans from $500 to $10,000 for women entrepreneurs.
  4. Highrise: Stay on top of your clients and other contacts using Highrise. This program helps users track contacts and communication history as well as remember when to follow up with them.
  5. Breeze: Breeze users can create email campaigns with ease. Send out newsletters, coupons, and quick customer hellos using this program.
  6. Remember the Milk: Keep track of your to-do lists with Remember the Milk. This program is great because it’s web-based, so it follows you wherever you happen to log in. It also lets you keep separate lists, so you can have one for marketing, invoicing, vendors, or any other category your heart desires.
  7. Prosper: Use Prosper for people-to-people lending. Get money for your business or make money by lending to others.
  8. Xing: Use Xing’s people search for contact management.
  9. Nolo: Check out Nolo for legal resources.
  10. Moo: Print promotional items like stickers, business cards and notecards with Moo.
  11. Jewelboxing: Impress your clients with professional-grade DVD and CD packages from Jewelboxing.
  12. WordPress: Get the word out about your business and speak your mind with a blog at WordPress.
  13. Escrow: Protect yourself from fraudulent payments by asking your clients to use Escrow.
  14. Spamato: Save yourself time and frustration by eliminating spam with Spamato.
  15. Project Stat.us: An informed customer is a happy customer. Let them know how their project is going by updating them with ProjectStat.us.
  16. Harvest: Do you wonder where all of your time goes? Use Harvest’s time tracking tool to get control of your workday.
  17. Box: Box offers free online storage that can be accessed from any computer and shared with anyone. Use it to send large files to your clients and free up space on your hard drive.
  18. Wesabe: Wesabe helps you understand where your money goes. Use this program to keep track of revenue, vendor spending and more.
  19. Spongecell: Do you have lots of events going on? Get a handle on them with Spongecell’s helpful online calendar service.
  20. Backpack: Do you have papers everywhere covered with to-dos, notes, and ideas? Put them all in one handy place with Backpack.
  21. Zoho Office Suite: If you like Windows Office but don’t want to plunk down big bucks for it, Zoho is for you. They’ve got word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, mail, and much, much more, all for free.

Networking & Organizations

For entrepreneurs, being successful is all about who you know. Use these resources for getting connected with other successful businesswomen.

  1. Forum for Women Entrepreneurs & Executives: This forum offers many networking and educational events for women in business.
  2. American Business Women’s Association: The AWBA brings women together with events, networking, and education.
  3. Ladies Who Launch: The Ladies Who Launch host events and spotlights for ladies who are on the move.
  4. WE, Inc.: This non-profit business association advocates and provides resources for women entrepreneurs.
  5. Women Entrepreneur Forums: The forums at Women Entrepreneur offer a great resource for connecting with other female business owners online.
  6. Women 2.0: This network is made up of women who own technology businesses. You’ll find mentoring, financial resources, and awesome garden parties.
  7. National Association of Women Business Owners: NAWBO works to help women achieve power through networking, alliances, and promotion of economic development.
  8. Athena International: Athena supports and develops women by inspiring them to achieve their full potential.
  9. US Women’s Chamber of Commerce: This chamber of commerce works to take women from being a targeted consumer market into an economic force, opening doors to opportunities for women.
  10. Women Impacting Public Policy: WIPP is a voice for women in business on Capitol Hill. You can help WIPP take action, attend events, or check out their business resources.
  11. askCharity: askCharity arms women with networking contacts as well as access to key media personnel.
  12. International Virtual Women’s Chamber of Commerce: The IVWCC works to help women create profitable alliances and joint ventures together.
  13. Team Women: Team Women provides women with networking, support, and an exchange of business leads.
  14. Mompreneurs: This organization offers members access to message boards, books and a marketplace.
  15. Springboard Enterprises: Springboard Enterprises supports emerging women businesses. Send them your business plan for suggestions and referrals.
  16. Woman Owned: Woman Owned gives women information, tools, advice and networking opportunities that can help you start up or grow your business.
  17. Women’s Entrepreneurial Network: This network provides contacts, business resources, and tools for success.

Government Resources

Uncle Sam doesn’t just want to take your taxes; he wants to help you jump-start your business! Check out these government resources that you should be taking advantage of.

  1. National Women’s Business Council: The National Women’s Business Council is a federal advisory council. They offer business mentoring, conferences, events, and a way to let your entrepreneurial voice be heard on Capitol Hill.
  2. Small Business Administration: The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership offers training, counseling, and other programs and services that are designed to help you succeed.
  3. Minority Business Development Agency: The MBDA’s web portal offers events, contracting opportunities, a discussion forum and more.
  4. Women 21: Women 21, a division of the Department of Labor, gives women a chance to take advantage of resources, information, online programs and networking opportunities online.

How-To

Check out these helpful guides for specific advice on topics that will help you be successful.

  1. Work.com: Work offers a wealth of how-to guides for any business.
  2. Get Certified!: This article discusses how businesses can get certified as woman-owned and how to take advantage of the status.
  3. 50 Ways to Save Money in Your Business: Everyone could use a little help pinching pennies. Check out these tips that can save you thousands of dollars.
  4. How Small Businesses Handle Employee Holidays: You might like to work 24/7, but your employees probably aren’t crazy about that idea. Follow this guide to handling time off.
  5. How to Forecast Revenue and Growth: Follow this guide to figure out how much money and staffing you need to be prepared for.
  6. 100 Ways to Be a Better Entrepreneur: This article offers a checklist for improving your business.
  7. How to Find the Attorney Who’s Right for Your Business: A good lawyer can help keep your business out of legal and financial hot water. Here’s how to find the one that’s best for you.
  8. 25 Ways to Simplify Your Business: Make your business simple and easy using these tips.
  9. Five Steps to Government Contracting: Check out this guide to doing business with the government.
  10. How to Cope With Overnight Success: You made it! Now what? This guide offers advice on how to deal with overwhelming success.
  11. How to Give Back When You Don’t Have a Referral: This article details how to offer value to your networking contacts even when you don’t have referrals to offer them.
  12. Expanding With a Second Location: Are you getting too big for your current space? Perhaps it’s time to branch out. Read this article for insight on this big decision.
  13. Choosing the Right Trade Show: This article offers a guide to marketing yourself through a trade show.
  14. How to Write a Contact: This one’s a no-brainer. Follow this guide to writing contacts that can help you be prepared for every "What if?"
  15. What Should You Charge?: Read this article for advice on finding the sweet spot for your prices.
  16. How to Select a Shopping Center Location: So you’re ready to move your business out of your house and into a proper establishment. Many businesswomen choose to go into shopping centers. Here’s how to pick the best one for you.
  17. How to Train Your Clients to Pay You: Don’t get burned by deadbeat customers. Use this guide to get your clients to fork over your hard-earned money.
  18. Bury the Seven-Day Workweek: Go from workaholic to someone with a balanced life using this guide.

Inspiring Stories

When you’re just getting started, it’s often hard to visualize success. Read these stories to set your sights on where you want to be.

  1. California Baby: Jessica Iclisoy’s all-natural baby product line has generated more than $10 million in sales thanks to consumer education through demonstrations and Q & A sessions.
  2. Carol’s Daughter: Lisa Price made beauty products at home that expanded to a hot line of more than 200 products, some of which are featured at Sephora.
  3. Sassybax: Amanda Horan Kennedy has built her business on fun and flattering undergarments.
  4. Nest Fresh Eggs: Cyd Szumanski hit the organic market with her eggs at just the right time.
  5. Olive and Bette’s: Stacy Pecor created her own retail store in New York City.
  6. Hollywould: Holly Dunlap’s cute but comfortable shoes are in 60 stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue.
  7. Duwop: Christina Bartolucci and Laura DeLuisa took their beauty products straight to the celebrity market.
  8. CCM Marketing: Suzy da Silva and Nicole Licata have become millionaires with their advertising agency.
  9. Karate Kids: Dawn Barnes went from ballerina and stunt woman to a karate school owner.
  10. Baby Steps: Lisa Druxman created a successful business with a family-friendly fitness class.

Books

Check out these books for thought-provoking stories and helpful advice.

  1. How She Does It: How Women Entrepreneurs Are Changing the Rules of Business Success: How She Does It offers insight from a woman who has been there. This book is sure to help you get inspired whether you’re currently running a business or just hoping to do so in the near future.
  2. Ladies Who Launch: Embracing Entrepreneurship & Creativity as a Lifestyle: Ladies Who Launch helps women focus on the dreams they have for themselves, not what other people think they should do. Read this book for a structure that will help you bring your business to life.
  3. How to Run Your Business Like a Girl: Successful Strategies from Entrepreneurial Women Who Made It Happen: In this book, you’ll find practical advice for creating your business, from opening your office to making it through the slow times.
  4. Bags to Riches: 7 Success Secrets for Women in Business: Bags to Riches follows the story of "wealthy bag lady" Linda Hollander, who went from a debt and dead-end job to a thriving business. This book offers tips for finding a mentor, getting financed, and good customer service.
  5. The Woman’s Advantage: 20 Women Entrepreneurs Show You What It Takes to Grow Your Business: For real life illustrations of successful woman-owned businesses, check out this book. It offers the stories of 20 women entrepreneurs and the strategies that made them successful.
  6. Smart Women and Small Business: How to Make the Leap from Corporate Careers to the Right Small Enterprise: If you’re still a corporate slave longing to leave the W-2 workforce, this book is for you. Read about the many different enterprises in which women thrive.
  7. Capitalizing on Being Woman Owned: Expert Advice for Women Who Have or Are Starting Their Own Business: For the nitty gritty details on how to take advantage of your women owned business status, check out this book. You’ll find information on government support, tax breaks, and more.
  8. Mompreneurs Online: Using the Internet for Work at Home Success: This book offers advice on building a business online that’s both kid-friendly and profitable.
  9. Idea Mapping: How to Access Your Hidden Brain Power, Learn Faster, Remember More, and Achieve Success in Business: This book will help you streamline your thinking process through the idea mapping method.


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30 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the link to my blog, and wow, what a great list!

    -Elizabeth

    Comment by Elizabeth Potts Weinstein — August 20, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

  2. Wow, what a fantastic list! Thanks for including us in among such stellar company. (BTW, the link to our site doesn’t seem to be working at the moment…)

    I’d be curious to know if any of the tools you listed are from women-owned (or even partly women-owned) companies. It would be really cool to be able to support women entrepreneurs in software development, etc. Does anyone have any info on that?

    Comment by Lauren Bacon — August 20, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

  3. Hello Bootstrappers,

    Thanks for adding me to the list…I greatly appreciate it…and what a list indeed! I can’t wait to dig in and check out all the other juicy resources.

    Thanks again and stay passionate,
    Kammie K.

    Comment by Kammie K. — August 20, 2007 @ 6:31 pm

  4. Thanks again for your incredible research and compiled list! I’ll link to this one tomorrow. ;)

    Comment by Kelly King Anderson — August 20, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

  5. Wow, I had no idea there were so many resources for women offered by women! Thanks for plugging my blog :-)

    Comment by Carmina — August 20, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

  6. Thanks for the useful info!

    Comment by Meg H. — August 21, 2007 @ 6:08 am

  7. This is absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for all of the great information I am going to go ahead and let my readers know you are here.

    Comment by Suzanne McLoone — August 21, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

  8. WOW!! What an incredibly detailed list. Thanks so much for adding me — I’m honored and flattered!

    I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to save this list and refer to it often.

    Of the tools you recommend, I use Highrise (it’s FREE!!), Breeze (one of my customer’s has it and I LOVE it – a little on the expensive side, though) and WordPress.

    Can’t wait to check out the other goodies.

    Thanks for such a well-researched list!

    – Cristina

    Comment by Cristina Favreau — August 21, 2007 @ 5:36 pm

  9. What a fantastic resource list!
    Thank you.

    Comment by Amanda M. Gladden — August 21, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

  10. Thanks so much for including my blog! And this list is terrific — I’ll be sending my customers to check this out for sure.

    - Kathy M.

    Comment by Kathy Mallary | The Inspired Market-her — August 22, 2007 @ 3:39 am

  11. Great list! All of these sites will definitely help other women entrepreneurs. I will definitely include this site on our resource page on WomenEntrepreneur.com .

    Landin
    Marketing
    [email protected]
    WomenEntrepreneur.com

    Comment by Landin — August 22, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

  12. Love and appreciate your list (I’ve printed it to keep nearby). And of course, found it from Escape from Cubicle Nation (#16). Another important (but overlooked) blog resource is Keep Working, Girlfriend: women, work and chronic illness (http://KeepWorkingGirlfriend.com, an online community for women (and men) who want to keep being successful in the workplace while living with chronic illness. Hope we make the list next time!

    Comment by Rosalind Joffe/KeepWorkingGirlfriend.com — August 22, 2007 @ 8:32 pm

  13. This is a great list! I just blogged on it at http://www.femalepreneurs.com/blog and I’ll tell my community of women entrepreneurs to come take a look.
    Thanks for pulling this together.

    Comment by Jan Marie Dore — August 23, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

  14. Thanks so much for a great list of resources! I’ll publish it to http://www.CafeEntrepreneur.com as well for my community of women entrepreneurs – they’ll really appreciate it!
    Another resource for a non-traditional creative business plan is http://www.JoyfulBusinessGuide.com. It’s perfect for solo-preneurs and small businesses who don’t need a traditional business plan for investors and bankers. It uses the idea mapping/mind mapping for a more fluid and creative (and inspiring!) business plan!
    Thanks again!

    Comment by Laura West — August 24, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

  15. Thanks for taking the time to compile the list. I’ll definitely be referring to this list often and checking out the links. I like the variety of resources that you’ve provided, from books to blogs … Will you be updating the list regularly?

    Comment by Laura — August 24, 2007 @ 2:31 pm

  16. Your lists are so helpful! I had already added your July list of 100 Daily Reads for Entrepreneurs to the site, http://www.morethanweknow.wordpress.com, which is devoted to
    helping women entrepreneurs share information, inspiration and support.

    This will be a great addition focused specifically on the needs of women entrepreneurs. Great work!

    Comment by Liz Fuller — August 25, 2007 @ 3:16 am

  17. Thanks for including me in this fabulous list!

    Comment by Michelle Goodman — August 25, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

  18. what a great resource this is. Thanks

    Comment by kelene — August 27, 2007 @ 11:21 am

  19. Great list! I’m going to spend LOTS of time browsing through…

    Comment by MJ — August 28, 2007 @ 1:52 pm

  20. Thanks for this valuable list! I found it through Escape from Cubicle Nation’s blog. I can’t wait to dive in!
    Pam

    Comment by Pam Day — August 29, 2007 @ 9:15 pm

  21. What a fabulous list! I’m looking forward to visiting the blogs listed and referring my reader to this list!

    My blog provides leadership, career and building building tips for women. Please visit us at http://www.inspirebyaction.com

    Take great care!

    Comment by TC Coleman — September 3, 2007 @ 9:50 pm

  22. Hi there,

    I’m so flattered to be included on this list! Thank you so much. And what a wonderful list of resources. I will be linking to this straightaway on my blog.

    Thanks again

    Paola

    Comment by Paola from mirrormirror — September 7, 2007 @ 12:26 am

  23. I am so inlove with this site.. I love anything that helps a womans job run more smooth!

    This is simply the best info I have found all week after catching a link to it on mlmwoman!

    Keep up the great MLM Woman March!

    Katherine Ahching

    Comment by Katherine Ahching — September 8, 2007 @ 10:36 pm

  24. Thanks to all of you for doing such a wonderful job inspiring, educating, and connecting women around the world. In peace and prosperity!

    Warmly,
    Monica

    PS) I’m looking for stories of women entrepreneurs for my book. Interested in sharing? visit http://www.asuccessfulwoman.com/contact.php

    Comment by Monica Flores — September 12, 2007 @ 9:26 am

  25. Awesome list, thanks for providing it. I’m really happy to have found your site.

    Comment by Sharon Hurley Hall — September 12, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

  26. Another good resource for women is Damsels in Success: http://damselsinsuccess.com/home/default.aspx.

    Comment by Susan — September 13, 2007 @ 1:50 pm

  27. This absolutely rocks! Thanks!

    Comment by Meg H — September 27, 2007 @ 6:05 am

  28. Excellent Resource…thank you so much!! I’m passing this on to my entire downline, love it! -British

    Comment by British Hill — October 29, 2007 @ 7:44 pm

  29. For the work at home mom’s in network marketing, you might want to check out Oprius: http://www.oprius.com/

    Comment by Owen — November 28, 2007 @ 10:41 pm

  30. Networking is lifeblood for entrepreneurs — and smart networking can build your business faster and less expensively than relying on paid advertising to spread the word. So if you know something about the http://www.YoungEntrepreneurSociety.com
    than please inform me. Its very much valuable thing for me. Mention your employees to help me. And good luck, may they perform better and improves there work.

    Comment by Cameron444 — January 10, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

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