Help is Available
You don’t need to approach self-employment alone, and there are organizations, people, technology, and tools that can help you on your way.
• Learn about the support networks of organizations and services that can help you accomplish your self-employment goals
• Identify ways to effectively work with a mentor and build your networks for the guidance and support you need as you work for yourself
• Familiarize yourself with the ways that technology and social media can support your self-employment venture
When you call and request a copy mailed to you, you'll be able to follow the steps to crafting your personal Action Plan for moving forward with your BIG IDEA.
Microbusiness Development Resources
Many nonprofit and government organizations, banks and credit unions offer assistance to those who want to be self-employed or start their own business. Assistance could include help writing business plans; creating budgets, cash flows or other financial planning tools; conducting market research; and providing access to startup capital. In addition to the resources below, your local credit unions, colleges and universities, and workforce development organizations can often direct you to the resources available for aspiring entrepreneurs in your community.
Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)
Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) creates economic opportunity for underserved entrepreneurs. Their website includes a searchable database that includes information about resources for new business owners in your state and local community. By simply entering your state, you can identify resources that provide assistance in the following areas:
a. Lending and/or other Financial Services
ii. Checking Accounts
iii. Savings Accounts
iv. Individual Development Accounts
v. Credit Reporting
b. Business Training and Technical Assistance
i. Entrepreneurship Training
ii. Financial Literacy Training
iii. Mentorship/Coaching and Entrepreneur Support
c. Access to Market Services
Additionally, you can search the database for programs with a specific focus such as for the following: urban areas, rural areas, green/environmental/clean tech, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, immigrants/refugees, people with disabilities, veterans, women and youth.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Resources
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government created to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.
Available resources include information on starting and managing a business (estimating startup costs, preparing financial statements, developing a cash flow analysis, filing and paying taxes, hiring and retaining employees), loans and grants, contracting, counseling and training.
The SBA and AARP have joined forces to mentor, counsel and educate Americans age 50 and over on how to start or grow a small business.
Available resources include free Encore Entrepreneurship Webinar Series (covering how to market your new and existing business). There are also free online courses specifically aimed at the older business owner: An Introduction to Starting your Own Business for Encore Entrepreneurs and Encore Entrepreneurship for Women
SBA and the FDIC jointly provide their free instructor-led business training curriculum.
Available resources include 13 modules covering a wide range of interests and knowledge levels, which can be taught in any order or independently. All curricula are free and available for download, and each module is available in English and Spanish.
SBA Office of Small Business Development Centers
Promotes entrepreneurship, small business growth and the U.S. economy by providing the critical funding, oversight and support needed by the nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).
Available resources include information for SBDC Funding Recipients, SBDC Grantee Forms and Worksheets, and links to America’s SBDC website and SBDCNet website (which serves the small business community).
SBA’s Learning Center
SBA’s Learning Center is a virtual campus complete with free online courses, workshops, podcasts and learning tools.
Available resources include a listing of free courses covering the following topics: Financing, Government Contracting, Managing a Business, Marketing, and Starting a Business.
Each year SBA serves over 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans and military spouses across the United States and at military installations.
Available resources include information on Financing for Veteran-Owned Businesses and a link to the Loans and Grants Search Tool to help identify organizations that provide loans to veterans.
SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership
The Office of Women’s Business Ownership fosters the participation of women entrepreneurs in the economy, especially those who have been historically under-served or excluded. The Women’s Business Center Program was established to better help women overcome continuing barriers to success. Today there are Women’s Business Centers in almost every state, tailoring services to the needs of their individual community and providing training in finance, management, marketing, and the Internet, as well as offering access to all of the SBA’s financial and procurement assistance programs. Available resources include free courses focused on women-owned businesses and a link to a searchable national network of 100 Women’s Business Centers throughout the U.S.