SBA.GOV has a vast amount of FREE information and resources for all types of small businesses! By visiting the site you will find FREE training sessions, local organizations, and various tools and templates that will help you plan, launch, manage and grow your business…and did we say for FREE?!!!
Several FREE virtual training courses are available under the “Learning Center Tab”. The classes below may be found by clicking the “Starting a Business” link and include:
Young Entrepreneurs: This course introduces young entrepreneurs to the basics of creating and financing a successful business.
Encore Entrepreneurs: An Introduction to Starting Your Own Business: This course is designed for individuals planning to start a business after earlier career endeavors.
Encore Entrepreneurship for Women: This introduction to business planning is directed to women over the age of 50 who are interested in pursuing a second career and launching their own business.
How to Write a Business Plan: This course explains the importance of business planning, defines and describes the components of a business plan, and provides access to sample plans and resources that can help you develop a business plan.
Strategic Planning: Learn what Strategic Planning is and why it is a vital part of running your business. This course will explain why strategic planning is important and describe typical steps taken in the process.
Business Development Growth for Native American Businesses: This self-paced training exercise is an introduction to Business Development Growth for Native American Businesses.
Native American Business Primer: This course is designed to assist Native peoples who're thinking about starting a business, or who're in the early stages of starting a business.
Jóvenes Emprendedores (Young Entrepreneurs - Spanish): Este curso les presenta a los jóvenes empresarios a los fundamentos de la creacion y financiacion de un negocio exitoso.
Buying a Business: This self-paced training provides an overview of the process of buying a business and provides resources to help you decide if buying a business is right for you.
Introduction to Franchising: This self-paced training exercise presents an overview of franchising, as well as how to determine if franchising is right for you, and how to choose the right one.
The SBA also works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor, and train small businesses (click here for more details). This link will take you to a map which allows you to click on your location and shows organizations and other resources available to you in your area.
Some of these organizations include:
SCORE Business Mentor
The SCORE Association, supported by SBA, is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories.
SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. Here are some of the ways you can connect with SCORE and get free business advice:
Email a mentor: Choose a mentor online and get answers to your business questions virtually
Visit Your Local SCORE Office: Make an appointment with a mentor for in-person advice or attend a business workshop
Online Workshops: Participate in free, online workshops or register for small business webinars
E-Newsletters: Subscribe to SCORE’s e-Newsletters and get free business tips and read interviews with small business experts
Small Business Development Center
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA.
SBDC advisors provide aspiring and current small business owners a variety of free business consulting and low-cost training services including: business plan development, manufacturing assistance, financial packaging and lending assistance, exporting and importing support, disaster recovery assistance, procurement and contracting aid, market research help, 8(a) program support, and healthcare guidance.
With dozens of host networks branching out with hundreds of service delivery points throughout the U.S., the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, SBDC assistance is available virtually anywhere.
Women's Business Center
Women's Business Centers (WBCs) represent a national network of over 100 educational centers throughout the United States and its territories, which are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. WBCs seek to "level the playing field" for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world.
SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) oversees the WBC network, which provides entrepreneurs (especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged) comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics in several languages.
The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)
The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program is a one-stop-shop for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses looking to start, purchase, or grow a business. Located nationwide, VBOCs provide transition assistance programs, including Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot, as well as business development assistance such as training, counseling and mentoring, and resource referrals.
Learn more about what Veterans Business Outreach Centers can offer you.