Resources for Woman-owned Businesses

Are you a woman-owned business? If so, here is a list of resources specifically for woman-owned businesses.


All Resource Lists

Center for Women & Enterprise

CWE provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs and women in business to increase professional success, personal growth, and financial Independence.

The Center for Women and Enterprise is a nationally known nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people start and grow their businesses. CWE has worked with more than 37,300 Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont entrepreneurs since 1995. CWE also operates the Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England (VBOC of NE) that focuses on assisting veterans, active duty service members and their families with starting and growing their business.

Learn more about Center for Women & Enterprise

City of Hartford Supplier Diversity Program

If you are a small contractor, minority or woman owned business in Hartford you should look into this program.

The City of Hartford maintains a stand alone registry of eligible small contractors and minority and women enterprises for program Small Contractors- SC and Minority Women Business Enterprise- Minority and Woman

Learn more about City of Hartford Supplier Diversity Program

Connecticut Procurement Services

If you are looking to procure state contracts.

The Department of Administrative Services administers statewide contracts for the purchase of supplies, equipment and contractual services through programs such as:

  • Supplier Diversity (Set-Aside) Program for women and minorities
  • State and Federal Surplus Property Distribution
  • Construction Contractor Pre-qualification
  • P-Card
  • Environmentally Preferred Purchase
  • State and Federal Surplus

Learn more about Connecticut Procurement Services

CT Innovation Nights

If you launch your new product with us, then we will help bring it to market.

Our mission is to help local entrepreneurs get more visibility for their new products. We want to connect members of the local innovation community. Innovation Nights is an event designed to help local innovators increase the buzz around new products and companies. A dozen companies bring new products to the event and the social media community turns out to blog, tweet, post pictures and video, add product mentions to LinkedIn and Facebook statuses, and otherwise help spread the word. In the last five years, these events have helped to: -- Launch more than 750 new products -- Connect dozens of job seekers and hiring managers -- Profile dozens of local experts and service providers We call an Innovation Nights event a "stone soup" event. Remember the folk story of Stone Soup? A stranger or small group of travelers come upon a poor village. The travelers are hungry but everyone claims to have nothing to share. So the travelers create a fire, hang a pot of water over it and place a stone inside, telling one and all that they are creating "stone soup." Of course, it will taste better with a little something for flavoring, a carrot, a potato, maybe even a little piece of meat. Soon everyone in the village has contributed "just a little something" and everyone sits down to enjoy the wonderful feast. Innovation Nights are like stone soup. Someone has a space where we can hold an event, with tables and Wi-Fi. Companies have new products to promote. Others are social media mavens who can create buzz. Still others donate a few hours of their time and expertise. Soon, everyone is benefiting from the wonderful event we create together.

Learn more about CT Innovation Nights

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) - ConnDOT

If you are a seeking contracts with the CT Dept. of Transportation as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE)

The mission of the Connecticut Department of Transportation is to provide a safe and efficient intermodal transportation network that improves the quality of life and promotes economic vitality for the State and the region.

Learn more about Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) - ConnDOT

FAST Partnership Program

If you are a woman-, minority- or veteran-owned technology business looking for SBIR support services.

To maximize each business's potential, we tailor solutions that often combine our funds with resources from other financial leaders.

When you need additional funding to run your business, Connecticut Innovations (CI) can work with you and your bank to get you financed. We offer loans of up to $5 million for owner-occupied real estate, equipment purchases, working capital and more.

CI has a number of equity funds for when you're ready to take your technology idea or business to the next level. We are highly selective and have a stringent due diligence process, but if you meet our investment criteria, our team will recommend the fund that best fits your needs.

Learn more about FAST Partnership Program

Golden Seeds

If you are a woman-owned business looking for funding.

The Golden Seeds Vision: A powerful force behind women entrepreneurs. A sterling opportunity for investors.

Women entrepreneurs have seen remarkable success in launching new ventures. In fact, 46 percent of the privately held firms in the United States are at least half owned by women.

These entrepreneurs are often determined innovators who have the potential to scale their businesses and contribute to the economy in countless ways. Ultimate success requires access to capital and influential networks to propel growth -- the same qualities that build market-leading companies.

At Golden Seeds, investors have access to these great investment opportunities that are vetted, coached and advised by our network. We offer an environment in which today's most exciting women-led businesses receive capital and connections to grow and successfully exit.

Since 2005, we've invested over $70 million in more than 65 women-led companies and counting.

All this in an investment culture that we call "profit with principles" -- that is, one that places a high priority on values.

Learn more about Golden Seeds

Ladies Launch Club

If you are looking to network with other women entrepreneurs.

Ladies Launch Club, an online and in-person organization, connects women to other women who have the shared goal of being successful entrepreneurs. Ladies Launch Club provides educational resources and vital exposure for women and their businesses.

Learn more about Ladies Launch Club

Microloan Guarantee Program (CEDF/DECD)

If you are a woman- or minority-owned business looking for up to a 30 percent guarantee of principal on loans under $50,000.

The Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF) was created in 1994 to revitalize Connecticut's distressed neighborhoods by providing greater access to capital, technical assistance to small businesses and support for community economic development. Since then CEDF has provided millions of dollars in loans to small businesses, created and retained hundreds of jobs for the state's residents, and funded numerous community planning efforts. Joining forces with the state, leading lenders and representatives from low- and moderate-income communities, CEDF is bringing help for Connecticut's small businesses and neighborhoods.

The mission of CEDF is to strengthen neighborhood economies by providing flexible financial and technical support to small businesses, community organizations and initiatives in targeted communities and to low- and moderate-income individuals throughout Connecticut.

Learn more about Microloan Guarantee Program (CEDF/DECD)

Minority & Small Business Supplier Diversity Program (DAS)

If you are a small minority- or woman-owned business looking to apply for state contracts.

Of state contracts and projects, 6.25 percent are set aside and available for state-certified small minority businesses. This includes businesses owned by persons who are ethnic minorities, women or disabled.

Learn more about Minority & Small Business Supplier Diversity Program (DAS)

Startup Hartford

Come out and socialize with fellow founders in the Hartford area, make connections, and help build a founder network in Hartford.

Startup Hartford is a local startup community designed for founders; whether aspiring, rookie, seasoned or serial – in the greater Hartford area. We aim to fill the networking void for this niche-entrepreneur community. With monthly mixers, we aim to connect entrepreneurs for their startup journey. These events provide networking opportunities with local startups, bring together local resources and give entrepreneurs a networking environment – worthy of time away from their startups.

Learn more about Startup Hartford

Stronger International

If you are looking for services in IT, cyber security or compliance training. We also do pen testing, risk analysis, vulnerability assessments and policy reviews.

When it comes to protecting your company’s precious data from security breaches, ransomware and other forms of virulent cyber crime, there’s no such thing as safe enough.

Stronger International offers expert consulting, onsite, live-remote and cloud-based virtual training programs to safeguard your company’s most precious asset, your reputation.

In a world where identity fraud occurs every two seconds, it’s not a question of if you will be attacked, only when. Remember, risking your data is risking your business. Get educated. Get trained. Get Stronger.

Learn more about Stronger International

The Accelerator at the Woman's Startup Lab

If you are looking for an accelerator focused on woman-owned startups check out the Woman's Startup Lab.

WSLab’s famous one-year program begins with a 2 week live-in accelerator immersion in the heart of Silicon Valley.

This program delivers CEO coaching, 120 hours of startup evaluation and strategy sessions with personal attention. The curriculum includes acquiring knowledge and building your funding strategy, creating & managing leads, building a SV pitch, as well as ongoing personal introductions and networking. Together with other female founders you will build an intimate support group, gain access to a prestigious network in Silicon Valley that leads to funding, and join a lifelong startup community.

How It Works

  • One-year program
  • Residential Session: April 24 – May 5, 2017
  • Location: Menlo Park
  • Tuition: $9,950 (an $85K value!)
  • Financing: $2,500 initial payment – financing or equity exchange available for remainder
  • Many founders were able to raise $10-50k Seed Fund upon acceptance to WSLab
  • Room and board in our expansive Silicon Valley villa during the 2 week immersion
  • 6 months Mastermind Coaching
  • Alumni reunion in Silicon Valley (6 month mark)
  • Additional 14 days/nights room, board for post-program fundrasing activities

Learn more about The Accelerator at the Woman's Startup Lab

The Refinery

If you are an looking for an accelerator.

Woman-owned company accelerator program in Westport.

Learn more about The Refinery

Washashore Writing

If you are a woman leader looking for help with writing.

Washashore Writing gives a unique and powerful voice to women leaders in business, community, and government. By providing personal attention and becoming an expert in the individual, your message will shine in a moving and memorable way.

Learn more about Washashore Writing

Women and Minority Loan Guarantee Program

If you are a woman and/or minority business owner looking for a business loan you may be interested in this program.

CEDF offers a special loan guarantee in conjunction with the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to help women and minority owned businesses obtain flexible financing. This program is for start up businesses as well as existing businesses looking to expand. CEDF provides the loan and the Department of Economic and Community Development provides up to a 30% guarantee. This guarantee is particularly helpful to start up businesses that need a greater degree of flexibility in obtaining a loan.<.p>

Learn more about Women and Minority Loan Guarantee Program

Women Presidents' Educational Organization (WPEO)

If you are a woman-owned business looking to apply for corporate or government contracts.

WPEO is a dynamic community of certified women-owned businesses (WBE), building on their success through mutually beneficial partnerships with Fortune 1000 corporations and other WBEs.

The Women Presidents' Educational Organization (WPEO) comprises two of the 14 regional partner organizations of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) -- the nation's leading advocate for women-owned businesses. WPEO was founded in 1998 by Dr. Marsha Firestone, a pioneer in opening doors for women-owned businesses.

Furthering the success of women-owned businesses is our primary mission. We provide WBENC certification -- the gold standard in diversity certification -- at the regional level, and serve as an advocate for certified women-owned businesses in our New York and Washington, D.C., regions, offering them educational programs, networking opportunities and recognition.

WPEO is incorporated in the state of New York and recognized as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Learn more about Women Presidents' Educational Organization (WPEO)



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