For entrepreneurs, social networks can provide collaboration with peers, access to new hires, sources of funding, and insights from seasoned executives.
Here is a list of social networks for entrepreneurs. There are networks for young CEOs, socially-conscious entrepreneurs, women founders, international business owners, and minority-owned startups.
Entrepreneurial Social Networks
LinkedIn is a primary social network for professional networking and career development. Entrepreneurs can join organized peer groups such as the Executive Suite, Startup Specialists Network, Social Entrepreneur Empowerment Network, and Digital Marketing.
Social Enterprise Alliance helps businesses become sustainable and expand their impact. Connect and collaborate with members virtually through SEA’s exclusive Slack workspace. Join member groups to build community. SEA also holds bi-annual summits to learn, network, and collaborate. Get expert advice through the Advisory Services program, or check out exclusive member discounts.
Young Entrepreneur Council is a community of young founders supporting one another. YEC provides networking, virtual and live events, business resources, and publication opportunities via major brands. Use the YEC app to ask questions, get advice, visit discussion rooms, and send direct messages. Get one-on-one executive and business coaching.
Entrepreneurs’ Organization is a peer-to-peer network for and founders of businesses with more than $1 million in annual revenue. Join a local chapter to connect monthly with 6-8 thought leaders and peers. EO has 200 local chapters in 63 countries. Join a bridge chapter to connect with regional peers, meeting 2-4 times annually.
WEConnect International connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers. Its mission is to help drive money into the hands of female owners by enabling them to compete globally. It seeks to break down the barriers that prevent women entrepreneurs from connecting to new market opportunities.
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a US network of experienced mentors dedicated to helping small businesses succeed. SCORE offers free training and educational resources to help start and grow a small business. It hosts free or low-cost weekly webinars on small business tips and strategies. Entrepreneurs can access mentoring in person at more than 250 local chapters or remotely via email, phone, or video at no additional cost.
Vistage is a CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize business leaders. It offers programs for CEOs, small business owners, key executives, and emerging leaders. Engage in a Vistage peer advisory group of 12 to 16 CEOs or local business owners from non-competing industries and receive confidential advice, troubleshoot problems, vet ideas, and identify blind spots.
YPO (Young President’s Organization) is a global community of young chief executives driven by the shared belief that the world needs better leaders. The platform has roughly 30,000 members across 142 countries. Members join locally in chapters through bespoke learning, social events, and shared experiences or connect online through forum groups.
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping female-owned businesses thrive. Founded in 1997, WBENC offers programs and opportunities to support business development and growth, from pitch competitions to education programs to networking opportunities throughout the US
Global Entrepreneurship Network operates an array of programs in 200 countries to make it easier for anyone starting or scaling a business. It supports founder teams and entrepreneurs through programs such as Global Business Angels Network, Global Enterprise Registration, and GEN Starters Club. It offers virtual platforms, live events, including its Global Entrepreneurship Congress and GEC+ series, and an annual Startup Nations Summit.
Minority Business Development Agency, US Dept. of Commerce is the only federal agency dedicated to the minority-owned businesses’ growth and global competitiveness. It offers business development and industry-focused services to provide greater access to capital, contracts, and markets. It serves US businesses owned and operated by African Americans, Asian Americans, Hasidic Jews, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
StartupNation, founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Jeff Sloan, provides access to experts in various business disciplines and provides peer-to-peer interaction through its online forums. The platform is for sole proprietorships, part-time businesses, and even sophisticated ventures. Get access to step-by-step advice, helpful articles, small business and entrepreneur forums, member-to-member networking, expert blogs, contests, and more.
National Association for the Self-Employed is a resource for entrepreneurs and micro-businesses, providing access to experts, benefits, and consolidated buying power. Get growth grants, term life insurance, medical emergency help, identity protection, UPS and Office Depot discounts, and round-the-clock advice from consultants.
Xing is a Germany-based social network for business professionals, popular in Western Europe. Almost 20 million individuals currently use Xing. Members meet and exchange ideas in over 80,000 specialist groups and at networking events.