The Importance of Women in Business Groups
Female entrepreneurship is on the rise, and the need for women in business groups is increasing. In the digital age, your network is equivalent to your ability to achieve your business goals. If you haven’t joined an executive women association or have been searching “women’s business groups near me,” we’re here to illuminate some of the benefits for you.
A professional business women’s network is typically designed around the mentoring and advocacy of raising women up to leadership roles across multiple industries.
While the reasons why only a fraction of women achieve C-level positions are varied, constituting everything, including a predisposition towards different career fields. At times, there is blatant bias in hiring discrimination. Female executive organizations are working to change this trend.
This article can help those seeking “women’s networking groups near me” by outlining six of the most influential professional women’s organizations.
- National Association for Women Business Owners
The National Association for Women Business Owners is notable due to its vast numbers of members, totaling over 10 million across America.
For entrepreneurs looking for other women in business groups, this organization boasts an outstanding roster. It’s a network of like-minded women designed to lend support and education to establish efficient business practices.
This women in business organization offers its members a bevy of advantages, offering discounted hotel rates, special prices on UPS services, and a suite of eLearning material.
Membership fee: One-time $100 joining fee, $20-$30 monthly fee depending on membership level.
- American Business Women’s Association
The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) is one of the most widespread women’s business groups. Spanning across 300 U.S. cities and hosting over 5,000 annual meetings, this group has collected members from a vast array of different industries to help support each other.
The aim of the organization is to provide women opportunities to grow personally and professionally. Through their events, magazines, and newsletters, women have access to leadership, education, and networking support. This is further amplified through national recognition.
With the sheer volume of ABWA chapters, you won’t have to search hard for “women’s organizations near me.” If by chance, there isn’t an ABWA chapter already established in your area, you have the opportunity to start a new one in your city.
Membership fee: $250 annual membership fee.
- Business and Professional Women (BPW) International
One of the oldest (established in 1930) and most influential women in business groups, the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International) has a stellar history of supporting female entrepreneurs.
BPW International has achieved significant traction as its chapters, and members span over 100 countries in five continents.
Through advocacy, education, mentoring, networking, and skill-building, this professional business women’s network has created programs that empower women across the globe. All of these efforts are aimed at offering women the chance for economic independence.
Membership fee: The fees are defined by each individual club. However, the average is around an annual $160 but can vary based on location.
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is a non-profit women’s business owner organization.
The council aims to enable women to innovate and create lasting partnerships that can bolster the economy. The ultimate objective of the WBENC is to bridge the revenue disparity between women-owned businesses and others.
The group achieves this by providing women the tools and certifications necessary to succeed. Aside from the standard networking events common to professional women’s organizations, a WBENC certification also provides access to supplier diversity and procurement executives at U.S. corporations and federal, state, and local government entities.
Membership fee: The WBENC issues certifications and recertifications based on a company’s reported revenue, with the breakdown being:
- Under $1 million: $350
- $1M < $5M: $500
- $5M < $10M: $750
- $10M < $50M: $1,000
- $50M+: $1,250
- Women’s Business Exchange
The Women’s Business Exchange (WBE) is designed to foster an inclusive group dynamic that negates the typical competitive climate women in business groups have become accustomed to.
The WBE has chapters in different cities. Through stringent category-control, and to enhance diversity, only one member is allowed in each business category. This structure was chosen to promote cross-industry collaboration without the fear of losing customers to each other.
Most chapters will host bi-monthly meetings for these exchanges to take place.
Membership fee: $250 annual membership fee.
- Women in Technology International
The Women in Technology International (WITI) focuses on female entrepreneurs who specialize in the field of technology. As is the global trend, technology conferences are extremely beneficial to the sector. The WITI wants to extend equal opportunity to women in this industry by building a worldwide inclusive culture of communication on common ground.
As a member of the WITI, you will have access to its massive global network of more than 3 million women.
If you work in technology, you know how important industry conferences and other mass networking events are to professional growth and development. WITI focuses on providing women in technology the opportunity to attend such events. And while it offers other resources (such as career services and education), WITI’s biggest draw is its global network of more than 3 million women.
Membership fee: Currently, lifetime membership has been discounted from $1000 to $650.
How to Find the Organization That’s Right for You
Since the majority of these women’s business groups specialize in a specific industry or have a stated aim, the best way to choose one is to find a group whose agenda fits your company profile and goals.
If you’re running a small shop and want to target a local demographic, choosing a group with a regional chapter may be the best bet.
Conversely, if you want to reach a global audience, you may opt for an international organization.
In the end, you will want to consider what the group aims to accomplish, the benefits they provide, and the fee to become one of its members.
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