Online Communities for Entrepreneurs

 Community sites that support entrepreneurs are a vital part of your survival strategy. Not only are you accessing like-minded entrepreneurs, you also realize that you’re not the only crazy one trying to launch a start up or grow your business. You can connect, collaborate, partner or just ask questions of others or experts. It’s a whole lot of powerful people, resources and tools at your finger tips and it’s free.

The Visa Business Network

Visa not only has global credibility, but they have also been committed to the ongoing development of innovative solutions that help small businesses grow, capture new opportunities and increase efficiencies. They have  launched the Visa Business Network, the online community that helps small business owners manage their businesses more efficiently, connect with and gain insight from peers, and ultimately grow their business.

This site allows small business owners to easily interact with peers in a collaborative way allowing them to get personalized help on goals ranging from growing their customer base to managing their business.  It’s obviously working as the community is now 100,000 members strong and growing! If you haven’t checked it out yet then head over to Visa Business Network. http://www.visabusinessnetwork.com.

Sprouter

Sprouter.com is the newest darling on the scene and growing very quickly with innovative new features and a vibrant community. It’s founded by a female entrepreneur, Sarah Prevette . Sprouter was launched in private beta in August 2009, and in public beta in November 2009. Sprouter is devoted to creating a vibrant community of entrepreneurs.

Sprouter facilitates networking and collaboration between entrepreneurs globally. Providing a platform for users to connect with other innovators, entrepreneurs can expand their networks to include fellow entrepreneurs and startups with similar interests and goals.

What I like about it is that by answering the question `What are you working on?’ in 140 characters or less entrepreneurs can discover and join events in their local areas, start discussions and follow topics of relevance to their business. But it’s more than a Twitter like community. It’s a place to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, bounce ideas off each other and find out about the latest events in your area for business, startups and more – all over the world. Each week you get a newsletter highlighting cool new startups, great blog posts and highlighting some cool new members. It’s very social.

Check it out at http://sprouter.com
Startup Square

Entrepreneurs starting a community for entrepreneurs is something that has real value, purpose and meaning – because only an entrepreneur knows what an entrepreneur goes through! They want to be the Yelp for Entrepreneurs.

They enable entrepreneurship by creating a space where co-founders can meet one another and brainstorm the next big idea. Then they turn those ideas into businesses by matching them with funding, tools, and services in a virtual marketplace.  They are putting together a peer reviewed list of resources for entrepreneurs.  Take a look here http://www.startupsquare.com/

What’s more all these sites are FREE. What’s your favourite community site?

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