The Best Business Communities, Networks, and Forums

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You have probably heard that old adage…”it isn’t what you know but who you know”, well I think it is a combination of the two. In business it is important to connect and network, but it is also supremely important to stay educated. A great way to combine networking and education is to join and contribute to business focused communities, networks, and forums.

The resources listed below provide tools and features that enable you to effectively market your business on the web, connect with other business owners and professionals, as well as get the most up to date business news and information.

  • Alibaba – get international trade leads
  • BizJournals – online community for women business executives and entrepreneurs to connect, support, learn and grow.
  • Biznikbusiness networking for professionals
  • BizSugar – a social news site for small businesses and mid-sized companies. Business owners, managers and entrepreneurs can now discover, share and vote for the best business tips, trends, news and strategies on the Web.
  • Cambrian House – crowdsourcing, business networking, get help with your business ideas
  • Club E Network – a place to watch inspiring & how-to TV programming, meet people online & in-person and find & make money
  • Cofoundr – find a co-founder for your entrepreneurial venture
  • Ecademy – enables business people to connect through online networking, at business networking events and 1-2-1 meetings – a community that advocates, connects and helps one another
  • FastPitch Networking – business networking, PR help for business
  • GOBIGnetwork – community of startup companies
  • Hoover’s Connect – manage professional network and connect to corporate network
  • Ideablob.com – where entrepreneurs and small business owners can share and grow their business ideas – and have a chance to win $10,000 towards fulfilling them.
  • Idea Cafe – business forums
  • Intuit AccountantsIntuit‘s resource for accounting and Quickbooks practitioners
  • JIGSAW – share business contacts, database of over 11 million business contacts
  • JumpUp – from Intuit, focuses on startups, share your story to win a $25,000 business grant
  • konnects – communities around specific industries
  • LinkedIn – online network with over 35 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world
  • LookUPPage – an online tool that helps you create a personal web page, highly visible on search engines, and trackable so you can learn who is visiting your page.
  • Meetup – Look up business,entrepreneur, and social networks based on location
  • Naymz - is an innovative Reputation Network that lets you establish and promote your good name online.”
  • Online Community Small Business Community Forum -this interactive and open portal is intended to serve as a resource to support and assist small businesses.
  • OPEN Forum by American Express – swap ideas, find expertise, and access resources, to help grow your business.
  • OpenBusiness – platform to share and develop innovate Open Business ideas – entrepreneurial ideas which are built around openness, free services and free access
  • Oriented – global network of international professionals interested in Asian businesses and cultures
  • PartnerUp - is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs find joint venture partners, co-founders, executives, and board members. You can either post your opportunity or search the listings placed by other entrepreneurs.
  • Pink Magazine Community – Women focused business community
  • QuickBooks Community – from Intuit
  • Quicken Community – from Intuit
  • Ryze – Members get a free networking-oriented home page and they can also join special Networks related to their industry, interests or location.
  • SBDC Community – community for Association of Small Business Development Centers members
  • SmallBusiness.com – is a wiki with guides, resources, how-tos, and a small community
  • Small Business Ideas Forum – community of over 33,000 small business folks with over 71,000 posts.
  • Spoke – allows you to find and connect with 40 million businesspeople at 2.3 million companies. Spoke reaches beyond traditional professional networks by allowing you to connect with anyone in the Network, regardless of whether they are a member.
  • StartupNation – A community site for entrepreneurs that includes startup proposals networking
  • TheFundedan online community to research, rate, and review funding sources worldwide.
  • Upspring – provides businesses with an opportunity to increase exposure and attract more customers.
  • Wall Street Journal Community – a place to exchange opinions, ideas and tips
  • Work.com – how-to guides for your business
  • XING – global networking for business, 7 million members

If you know of any business communities I have missed I would love to hear about them….

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About Author

Bridget is President of The Get Smart Web Consulting Group, a web presence and digital strategy firm with offices in San Diego County California and Collier County Florida. But more importantly she is a web, tech, and Twitter addict!