BUSINESS RESOURCES FOR WOMEN IN S
Starting a Business
- The Sonoma Small Business Development Center is here to help all business owners start and grow their businesses. Call us at (707) 595-0060 in Sonoma County.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) has limited dedicated women’s resources in the North Bay:
- Regional Offices of Women’s Business Ownership, but the nearest is Los Angeles.
- Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), provide training, mentoring, and financing opportunities. The closest locations are in San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, and Fort Bragg. Learn more.
- DreamBuilder is the SBA’s free online training and business plan development tool for women. See DreamBuilder
Federal Contract Opportunities for Women-Owned Businesses
To help provide a level playing field for women business owners, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the women’s contracting program. Your business may qualify as a Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) or Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB).
- SBA certifies businesses as WOSB and also holds numerous events targeting both the federal and private procurement. View the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program.
- U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce also certifies businesses as WOSB and EDWOSB for federal contract purposes. In addition, they have two other programs focusing on corporate and regional goverenment: NWBE: National Women’s Business Enterprise™ and IWBE: International Women’s Business Enterprise™. They also offer numerous webinars and events about becoming a certified, as well as opportunities for various federal contracts.
Women’s Local and Regional Networking Groups
- Women Talk Biz – with the mission to ‘inspire, education, and connect women business owners through amazing events’
- Your local Chamber of Commerce remains key for bringing business people together and some have special women in business events.
- Connections networking group for women in Santa Rosa – “Women creating More than Business as Usual” – View website
- Meetups for women’s business networking in Solano and Napa
- Marin Women at Work is a collaboration of women business owners – View website
Women’s National Advocy Groups
- National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Bay Area chapter headed in San Francisco – Networking and advocacy for women entreprenurs.
- National Women’s Business Council – is the government’s only independent voice for women entrepreneurs, tackling important and relevant economic issues.
- US Women’s Chamber of Commerce – represents the voice of women in the U.S. economy, helping women start and build successful businesses and careers, and gain access to government contracts.
Need further education to advance your entrepreneurial idea? Here are some options:
- American Association of University Women – Various scholarships for women. Branches in Healdsburg, Marin, Napa County, Novato, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa — View AAUW Webpage
- Connections Networking sponsors scholarships for women – View website