4 Resources for LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs

According to Investopedia, “A startup is a company in the initial stages of business and are typically founded by one or more entrepreneurs who want to develop a product or service for which they believe there is demand.” They are typically funded by their founders and usually do not have enough capital to move onto the next phase of business. Startup companies can be a great place to work as there can be more flexibility since the company does not have to abide by a corporation’s policies and procedures. Startups are great places to grow, learn, and develop new skills you may not have the opportunity to learn elsewhere.

In addition to being a great place to work, it is also an excellent idea to create your own startup! Finding a job at a company whose mission and values align with your own can be challenging. By creating your own business, you get to be your own boss, make the rules, and cultivate a welcoming and inclusive environment. Below are 4 resources for LGTBQ+ entrepreneurs who are at various levels in the business creation process. Whether you are exploring the idea of entrepreneurship or have an existing business, these organizations are great places to gather knowledge and resources to advance your progress.

StartOut

StartOut’s mission is to increase the number, diversity, and impact of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and amplify their stories to drive the economic empowerment of the community. Founded in 2009, StartOut is an LGBTQ non-profit to promote LGBTQ equality and combat discrimination in the business world. StartOut has become a champion for the LGBTQ+ entrepreneurial community providing the resources entrepreneurs need to succeed, promoting the successes of our community, and researching the economic impacts of LGBTQ+ discrimination. StartOut hosts events in several major cities across the U.S.A. as well as digital events. Some of their recent events include an LGTBQ Alumni and Founder Networking session, Outsourcing for First-Time Founders, and the StartOut Equity Summit.

SBA, LGBT-Owned Business

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Network for LGBT Businesses aims to bring focus on economic empowerment in the LGBT business community by providing access to the SBA’s programs and services. The SBA offers free business counseling where you can connect with the Small Business Development Center, the Women’s Business Center, or Veterans Business Outreach Center advisors. The site also has a tool for business owners to find local assistance and resources.

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce 

The NGLCC is a global advocacy group that refers to itself as the business voice of the LGBT community. It is the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses. The group hosts LGBT Sip & Pitch Fridays where business owners can present their business to a panel of experts for positive, constructive feedback and new ideas.

The Center on Colfax

This organization works to connect the community via diverse communications, vibrant programs, essential resources, and creating opportunities for LGBTQ people to be seen and heard. They host an online LGBTQ Entrepreneurship class where participants engage in an in-depth curriculum exploring what they need to form their own business.

The information for this blog was gathered from Investopedia’s Startup article and CareerExploration.com Career Resources for LGBTQ page.

By Aaliyah Castleberry
Aaliyah Castleberry Career Consultant Aaliyah Castleberry