Entrepreneurship isn’t an easy journey. As an entrepreneur, you need to constantly seek ways to improve your business. To do that, it is important that you network and communicate with other entrepreneurs who are in a similar business field with you. There are platforms and online communities that make this easy for you and these platforms are forums for business owners to meet and discuss their challenges. They can be social media platforms, blogs, websites or podcasts. Most of them are targeted at business owners from specified business fields, so you need to be sure you are joining the right one.
Below is a list of the online communities that can help you grow your business.
Communities & Networking Groups
This is a global startup community of founders, creators and innovators that is designed to inspire, educate and connect entrepreneurs. Startup Grind organizes startup global conferences and events that reach millions of entrepreneurs globally. They have chapters in different countries and programs aimed at encouraging and training students who are trying to grow their businesses. They offer three packages: startup, student and partner packages and each of them offer different benefits.
BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
The British Chambers of Commerce is owned by a network of chambers of commerce that support their members in the UK and other countries. They offer perspectives that give their members insight into British business communities in different sectors They help entrepreneurs trade and grow through support, advice and export documentation. Members enjoy HR support, health insurance and special offers on products and services from other members of the chambers. There are also events like conferences, business awards, and networking activities to encourage the growth of businesses.
This is an exclusive membership club that helps founders overcome challenges, drive scale, and create value through peer group learning, entrepreneurial insight and curated connections. It is a platform that helps business owners connect with other successful founders. They offer both digital and in-person events including round table discussions, workshops and webcasts. Supper Club has events that connect like-minded entrepreneurs as well as special interest groups. They support their members at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey.
This platform identifies and supports leading social entrepreneurs globally. They create conditions for young people to become changemakers and enable society to embrace change-making and social innovation. Ashoka partners with over 300 schools globally and have been operating for more than 15 years. The Ashoka fellowship programme provides selected fellows lifetime support to scale their solutions’ impact by providing them with monetary support and strategic advice.
Inclusive Graduates works with undergraduates and professionals who are from underrepresented groups in the UK. This group includes young people from low socio-economic groups, ethnic minorities, and women. They have over 30,000 members and about 80% of them are classified as BAME. Inclusive Graduates partner with schools, lecturers, subject departments, university societies and career services to help diverse students secure mentoring, graduate development opportunities, internship and placement.
Hatch supports underrepresented entrepreneurs including ethnic minorities and women. They help them develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to grow a business through events like workshops, volunteering support and connecting them to a supportive community. Hatch builds partnerships with organizations that share similar visions and has supported over 5000 entrepreneurs on their journey to build impactful and sustainable businesses. 65% of the founders on their score programmed are women and about 60% of the founders are from Asian, Black or minority ethnic backgrounds.
WIRE (WOMEN IN RURAL ENTERPRISE)
This is a community that provides support, skills and network for women in business. They connect them to a network of business founders. It is a National business support network that promotes, supports and develops its membership of rural businesswomen from Harper Adams University. They offer access to the 50 wire networks across the UK where women who are in business share their expertise, knowledge and skills that help others boost their confidence and grow their businesses. The WIRE membership includes businesses that are just starting, growing or employing and the fee is £50.
This is a network of ambitious entrepreneurs from Britain. They bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and policymakers and aim at making Britain a good place to start and grow a business. Entrepreneurs Network has over 10,000 members and they are the secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship. They provide research into best policies to support entrepreneurship, campaign for policy changes, host events to connect policy makers and entrepreneurs, and update entrepreneurs on the impact of policy changes on their business.
WE ARE TECH WOMEN
This is a community that aims at accelerating career development for women in tech. We Are Tech Women help organizations attract, retain and develop their female tech talent and has helped over 3000 women build their skills through events and conferences. They have over 15,000 members consisting of diverse females who work across a multitude of tech disciplines and industries. They provide women in tech access to career articles, inspirational interviews, events, volunteering opportunities, returners programmed and learning opportunities through their dedicated website. They also offer free promotion of women who are in the Tech initiatives.
The IPSE is a self-employed community that helps its members engage with policymakers, source expertise, and collaborate to access business opportunities. They serve as the voice of the UK’s self-employed population by providing insightful and effective policy campaigns. They strive to create a better environment for business owners to run and grow their businesses. The IPSE members forum brings the IPSE and members closer thus making the community more democratic.
The Enterprise Nation is a group dedicated to small businesses. They offer support to businesses that are just starting as well as well established businesses. In this community, members meet to connect and share knowledge to help their businesses grow. The community has special interest groups like the effective leadership group, the startup group and the managing change responsible group, so you just have to choose which of them meets your needs.
The BNI membership gives members access to mentors, business professionals and courses that build their skills and confidence. They offer members global support that helps them achieve their business goals. Each member of a referral network in the BNI group contributes to the success of others and this is essential to business success.
The FSB provides solutions for businesses. They offer their members a wide range of business services including financial expertise, advice, a voice heard in government and support. Some of the services they offer include helping businesses recover debts, secure funding, bargain etc. They also have a dedicated website that features articles, guides and legal updates that help small businesses keep updated on the recent changes in the business world
SOL SOCIAL CLUB
SOL Social Club is a closed online community of business leaders that help each other through weekly roundtable discussions. This is a community for London-based startup culture enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and innovative professionals. The purpose is to share and learn from each others’ experiences by making meaningful connections with like-minded individuals. It is a great place to connect with startup founders, entrepreneurs and business owners. Fellow-minded people exchange ideas, share their mistakes, failures and lessons.