6 Organizations Dedicated To Helping Women In Business

While gender equality has come a long way in the past few decades, there are still plenty of issues that need to be solved, from the pay gap to sexual harassment in the workplace. Organizations like the ones listed here give women the opportunities they need to become entrepreneurs, leaders, and successful businesspeople, creating a more welcoming culture for people of all genders and paving the way for future generations to follow in their footsteps. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Helpful Groups For Businesswomen

Organization Mission
Center for Women & Enterprise Provide opportunities for women entrepreneurs and women in business to increase professional success, personal growth, and financial independence
Tory Burch Foundation Provide resources and tools to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs and help them to grow their businesses
Women In Technology Advance women in technology, from the classroom to the boardroom, through leadership development, technology education, networking, and mentoring opportunities
Athena Alliance Coach female leaders and ensure women can contribute at their highest level of impact, so everyone benefits from the value of diversity in leadership
Women Venture Help women attain economic self-sufficiency through the creation and growth of profitable and sustainable businesses
WESST Provide a support system of consulting, training, and lending to help clients successfully strengthen and grow their businesses through sustainable sales, financial knowledge, and job creation

U.S. Small Business Statistics

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as of 2018

  • There are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States
  • These make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses
  • They employ 58.9 million people
  • These make up 47.5% of all U.S. employees
  • Of the 294,834 U.S. companies that exported goods in 2015, 97.6% were small firms
  • Pennsylvania is home to 1.0 million small businesses, which employ 2.5 million people

Inspiring Quotes From Successful Women

Quote Source
"A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman." Melinda Gates
"I believe that it is as much a right and duty for women to do something with their lives as for men and we are not going to be satisfied with such frivolous parts as you give us." Louisa May Alcott
"One's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results." Florence Nightingale
"If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!" Sojourner Truth
"It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always." Oprah Winfrey

Crucial Lessons for Women in Business from a Wall Street CEO

In Depth

Every day, women face inequity when they apply for promotions, advocate for higher pay, try to expand their businesses, and more. Despite the decades that have passed since the women's liberation movement, they continue to be underrepresented as board members, executive officers, investors, and partners. However, there are organizations hard at work who are dedicated to empowering and elevating women from all walks of life through their employment. Here, in no particular order, are six nonprofits working to shatter the glass ceiling.

Starting off the list at #1 is the Center for Women and Enterprise. Founded in 1995, C.W.E. has worked with more than fifty thousand entrepreneurs in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont to start and grow their businesses. The organization provides education, training, technical assistance, micro-loans, and women's business enterprise certification. The center's clients represent a variety of racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds: 88% are women, 33% are minority, 48% are low-income, and 18% are unemployed. It also provides scholarships for qualifying candidates.

The Center for Women and Enterprise's education and training arm offers financial guidance, consulting, and mentoring. The center also offers e-learning, which include over 100 instructor-led e-courses, self-paced online programs, and monthly live webinars. The organization annually grants awards and scholarships to current center students and community leaders. C.W.E. also operates the Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England, which focuses on assisting veterans, active duty service members, and their families with starting and growing a business. Interested supporters can volunteer, donate, or attend an event.

The Center for Women and Enterprise's education and training arm offers financial guidance, consulting, and mentoring.

In the #2 spot is the Tory Burch Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing women's empowerment and entrepreneurship. The foundation grounds its efforts in connecting female founders with access to capital, education, and digital resources. Its flagship Fellows Program provides early-stage women executives with the opportunity to acquire funding, training, networks, and business guidance. The foundation offers access to affordable loans in collaboration with Bank of America, and partners with Goldman Sachs and Babson College to provide its entrepreneurial education curriculum.

The Tory Burch Foundation provides a range of online resources that focus on finance, growth, innovation, management, marketing, operations, technology, and starting a business. These materials are created by guest writers and speakers, as well as the foundation's fellows. The nonprofit's education program provides tools and support to develop customized growth plans through classes and weekly one-on-one advising. T.B.F.'s capital initiative connects women entrepreneurs with designated local community lenders, who directly provide affordable loans to eligible women entrepreneurs. T.B.F. welcomes donations, and purchases through their online shop.

Coming in at #3 is Women In Technology, which has the sole aim of advancing women in technology from the classroom to the boardroom. W.I.T. works towards its vision through activities including leadership development, technology education, networking, and mentoring opportunities for people at all levels of their careers. The nonprofit has over 1000 members in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia metro region. It provides a wide range of resources, including its "women mentoring women" program, which provides for a member protege to obtain advice from a senior member of W.I.T., and member networking luncheons that are held throughout the D.C. Metro Region.

W.I.T. works towards its vision through activities including leadership development, technology education, networking, and mentoring opportunities for people at all levels of their careers.

Women In Technology operates several major initiatives, including Girls in Technology, which offers educational, hands-on STEM courses that promote creativity and innovation, and inspire girls to pursue STEM-related careers. The nonprofit also runs a nine-month program that helps career-women develop the skills needed to serve on a corporate board, and its curriculum includes an intensive training session conducted by the National Association of Corporate Directors. Finally, the nonprofit runs job fairs, and operates a job board for its members. W.I.T. accepts new members and corporate sponsorships.

At #4 is Athena Alliance. Although women represent 45% of breadwinners, 75% of purchasing decisions, and 48% of the U.S. labor force, they are still under-represented at the highest levels of leadership. Since its founding in 1996, A.A. has worked to address this by coaching extraordinary female leaders to contribute at their highest levels. It has connected over seven hundred male and female leaders, added more than one hundred women to public boards, supported two hundred and fifty women with six thousand hours of executive development, provided one hundred and fifty boards with access to board talent, and secured 250 board interviews for candidates.

Athena Alliance provides an array of services that educate and connect its individual and corporate clients. Its executive development program is a high-touch curriculum designed to help aspiring directors, executives, founders, board directors, and investors advance their careers. A.A. also offers a board match service that provides board evaluation, access to board-ready female talent, hiring guidance, and new board member on-boarding support. The organization also offers a number of virtual and in-person events that help women cultivate their leadership strengths and connect with other women executives. Interested supporters can donate on A.A.'s webpage.

Its executive development program is a high-touch curriculum designed to help aspiring directors, executives, founders, board directors, and investors advance their careers.

In the #5 spot is Women Venture, a nonprofit that has provided women of all ages, cultures, races and income levels with the tools and resources to become small business owners for over forty years. It works to help women attain economic self-sufficiency through the creation and growth of profitable and sustainable enterprise, and focuses on economically or socially disadvantaged females. W.V. is a Women's Business Center as designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, one of only two in Minnesota. It was awarded the 2019 Women's Business Center of Excellence Award for Minnesota and the greater Great Lakes Region by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Women Venture offers a variety of services, including entrepreneurial training, small development loans, and advice. Its loan program awards loans of up to $50,000, and can provide working capital and funding for supplies, equipment, build outs, and other operational needs. It offers comprehensive classes and workshops to help people determine their operational readiness, develop and refine business plans, and enhance or grow existing enterprises. W.V. also provides many services to its community, including coaching, monthly Lunch and Learn workshops, and quarterly Business Advice Clinics. Women Venture welcomes volunteers and donations.

And finally, coming in at #6 is WESST, a statewide small business development and training organization committed to growing New Mexico's economy by cultivating entrepreneurship. Founded in 1989, it is the only organization in New Mexico offering long-term and comprehensive training, consulting, and low-cost loans specifically targeted to women, low-wealth, and ethnically diverse clients. Over 65% of WESST's clients are women, approximately 70% of its clients are classified by federal guidelines as low or very low income, and over 60% of its clients are ethnic minorities. WESST has offices in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Roswell, and Farmington.

WESST has offices in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Roswell, and Farmington.

WESST is among a handful of economic development organizations across the country that hosts a network of Women's Business Centers. Additionally, each of its six regional enterprise centers offers special training and consulting programs geared to new or established women business owners. The organization runs a number of incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces for eligible organizations. It also runs a digital studio that includes a recording space for advertising and marketing companies, green screen cyclorama wall for filmmakers, and a community meeting site for presentations. Interested supporters can volunteer or donate online.