It’s no secret that we’re living in a revolutionary time for women worldwide. While many are familiar with the statistics highlighting the gender gap in professional spheres, the number of women-owned businesses is multiplying.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, the country has 12.3 million women-owned companies. Economically, their impact rings in at $1.8 trillion in generated revenue and employs 9.2 million individuals. The rise of female entrepreneurs has transformed the global business landscape as more and more women successfully establish their ventures and contribute to economic growth.
Whether at the beginning of an entrepreneurial journey or an established CEO, professional organizations can provide exposure, credibility, and support to help you grow as a business leader. In addition, business owners need access to valuable resources, mentorship, and a supportive network to harness their full potential and overcome challenges—regardless of gender.
At BestOrgs, we’ve meticulously curated, ranked, and accredited an array of global associations and organizations catering to the needs of entrepreneurs. In this guide, we’ll delve into some of the most influential organizations that have significantly impacted the success of women worldwide.
American Business Women’s Association
Membership Fee: $115 annually
Founded in 1949, ABWA is a prestigious national organization focused on the growth and development of women in business. ABWA aims to provide opportunities for women to expand their professional and personal networks, gain leadership skills, and access educational resources to enhance their careers.
Highlighted benefits of joining the American Business Women’s Association include:
- Collection of online courses in ABWA’s Apex Campus—available 24/7
- Scholarships through the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund
- Discounted conference registration
- Access to thousands of networking events throughout local chapters
- Access to the Achieve Newsletter and the Women in Business Magazine
- Members exclusive discounts on products and services from ABWA business and educational sponsors
National Association for Women Business Owners
Membership Fee: starting at $411 annually
NAWBO is a leading association dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs by providing them with resources, networking opportunities, and support. Established in 1975, NAWBO has been advocating for the unique needs of women business owners, helping them grow and sustain their businesses. Today, their membership base has reached 10 million members nationwide.
With chapters dispersed throughout the country, the organization offers its members multiple membership tiers based on their specific needs, enabling them to thrive in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Highlighted benefits of joining the National Association for Women Business Owners include:
- Access and publishing opportunities to all NAWBO publications
- A listing on the national online member registry
- Advocacy resources and notification of any laws and legislation that may affect your business
- Access to monthly webinars on Virtual Connect & Learn and the eligibility to speak at events
- Members exclusive discounts on products and services from NAWBO business sponsors
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
Certification Fees: revenue-dependent, starting at $350
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the largest and most widely recognized certifier of women-owned businesses in the United States. This organization aims to validate and empower a company that is at least 51% owned, controlled, operated, and managed by women.
The WBENC is also an approved third-party certifier for the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting program.
Highlighted benefits of becoming a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprises include:
- Access to supplier diversity and procurement executives at hundreds of major U.S. corporations and federal, state, and local government entities that accept WBENC Certification
- Access to networking conferences, mentoring, executive education, capacity development programs, and other business tools and resources
- Eligibility to apply for regional and national recognition and awards
- Women Owned Logo and Women’s Business Enterprise Seal as a marketing tool to promote your business and its certification
- Community support from other organizations led by women
Women President Organization
Membership Fee: starting at $2,575 annually
The Women President Organization is a global non-profit membership organization that caters exclusively to women presidents, CEOs, and managing directors of privately held, multimillion-dollar companies. The average revenue of member organizations in 2022 was $14 million, with 71% of members doing business with other members within WPO.
WPO focuses on improving business conditions for women entrepreneurs by providing a platform for peer advisory and collaboration. Through its confidential and collaborative environment, WPO helps women leaders accelerate the growth of their businesses, exchange ideas, and gain insights from other accomplished entrepreneurs.
Highlighted benefits of joining the Women President Organization include:
- Opportunity to participate in the WPO Entrepreneurial Excellence Forum
- Access to regional meetings, retreats, and events at the invitation of a local chapter
- Access to monthly roundtable discussions with global WPO leaders
- Corporate leadership development content via Harvard ManageMentor® Spark with the ability to curate customized learning paths
- Members exclusive discounts on products and services from WPO sponsors
International Association of Women
Membership Fees: $299 annually
The International Association of Women is a global network of professional women with a common goal—success. They aim to connect woman-owned businesses across all industries via networking events, mentorship programs, professional development resources, and an exclusive career center.
Highlighted benefits of joining the International Association of Women include:
- Networking via local chapters, online communities, and virtual roundtable discussions
- Access to an online mentoring platform, LinkedIn Learning, and the IAW Insight collection of content
- Member discounts on business services from UPS, Dotlogics Web Design, Kabbage Funding, LegalZoom, and VistaPrint
- Promotional and marketing tools
The landscape of women’s entrepreneurship has seen remarkable growth and transformation over the years. The professional organizations mentioned above have played a pivotal role in supporting and uplifting female entrepreneurs. These associations provide valuable resources, networking opportunities, and mentorship, empowering women to succeed in their chosen fields and contribute to the global economy.
As BestOrgs.com continues to curate, rank, and accredit professional organizations, it’s essential to recognize and celebrate these associations’ impact on business women’s lives and careers worldwide.
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