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!

  • http://www.phitch.com John Krech

    Very good list Bridget! There are many listed that are new to me.

  • http://www.freeadsplanet.com/ Tom@Free Ads

    Yeah same here, I didn’t even know about a lot of these. Thanks for posting them. :)

  • Pingback: bizsugar.com

  • http://trainingtime.wordpress.com/ Marie

    Thanks for sharing all of these great ways to connect in the business world. I’m in the same boat with a couple of the other commenters, some of these sites are new to me and I appreciate you putting them all together.

  • http://www.startupbiztalk.com Cheryl@StartupBizTalk

    Great post Bridget! Thanks for sharing. Check out womenentrepreneur.com and zazzle.com too and see what you think. BTW: posted this link on my blog (right corner-must-reads for the week)

    Cheryl´s last blog post..GROW! 2009 Conference-Day Three

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  • http://... Linda

    Very very nice Blog !!

    I like it !!

    An advice, keep an eye on :

    http://www.myBusinessin.com !!!

    This one is getting big and is maybe the future of business communities…

    What do you think about it ?

  • http://www.john-michaels.com John Heder

    Great list, Thanks for posting!

  • http://www.quick-ad.com/ Corrinne@ new automobiles

    I would have to agree with you on this.

  • http://www.yourbusinessservice.co.uk/ Nigel

    One of the best Business Netowrks is Lionkedin and highly recommended

  • http://www.watchlivetvoncomputer.com/ Hanna @ Watch Live TV on PC

    The list of resources you provided is envaluable. Thank you for making the effort in compiling it. I'm about to connect to some of them just as soon as I've completed this comment. Much obliged!

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  • http://www.business2workathome.com/ Mizanur Rahman

    Thank you for your great information.

  • http://gadgettechblog.com/ Gadget_Blog

    This is cool, thanks for the share, I appreciate it big time, thanks once again.
    Cheers,
    gadgettechblog.com

  • craigmitt

    Great Blog. Really good information for small business owners. Thank you for the networking site info. I will check them out

  • http://visabusinessnetwork.com/ Tiffany

    I suggest adding VisaBusinessNetwork.com to the list!

    It was previously a Facebook-only application, but the new site just launched recently. Now business owners can set up public profile pages, set goals, network with other businesses, etc. It could be a great resource for owners of small businesses.

    Since the site is new, I'd love to hear any comments or suggestions for new features. Any feedback is welcome!

    - Tiffany
    The Visa Business Network Launch Team

  • michelvolpe

    Thanks Linda for the link to : http://www.mybusinessin.com

    This one ROCKS !!!! WONDERFUL…. I think those guys understood the real Businessmen NEEDS !!

    Michel

  • michelvolpe

    Thanks Linda for the link to : http://www.mybusinessin.com

    This one ROCKS !!!! WONDERFUL…. I think those guys understood the real Businessmen NEEDS !!

    Michel